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THE COWARD October 3, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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THE COWARD (FEAR)

II Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” We do not want to be driven by this fawning, craven, cringing fear. We want to have these demons driven out of us in Jesus’ Name.

Exodus 15:11 talks about the right kind of fear that we should have. It is a reverent fear of our Lord. “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders?”

Demons can transfer to us from other people. Therefore, we must be careful who we stand around and what we listen to. Deuteronomy 20:8 talks about this, “And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, What man is fearful and fainthearted? Let him return to his house, lest [because of him] his brethren’s [minds and] hearts faint as does his own.”

Again in Deuteronomy 28:58 we see the reverent fear we should have of our Lord. “If you will not be watchful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may [reverently] fear this glorious and fearful name [and presence] – THE LORD YOUR GOD -” Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy gives us the curses and blessings of God. In this verse the Lord says that we must obey the commandments. If we do not, the curses come upon us and opens the door for the demons to enter us. Disobedience to God’s Word allows the Coward demons to enter us.

To be able to do the work of the Lord we must drive out the demons of the Coward. In Judges 7:3 we see the Lord telling the fearful and cowards to turn back. “So now proclaim in the ears of the men, saying, Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him turn back and depart from Mount Gilead. And 22,000 of the men returned, but 10,000 remained.”

In the Strong’s Concordance the meanings of the words fearful and cowardice mean: frighten, made fearful, dread, faint hearted and trembling. These are the demons that are in the family of the Coward that drive us to be so afraid.

The Lord wants us to have a strong heart and not be afraid. He told us this in Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those who are of a fearful and hasty heart, Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance; with the recompense of God He will come and save you. Need we say more. The Lord is on our side and will avenge us. Praise the Lord! The Strong’s Concordance for fearful in this verse is cause to make fearful.

Now let’s see what Jesus said in the New Testament about fear and cowardice.

Matthew 8:26 “And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness).”

Mark 4:40 “He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?

Ouch, that hurts. We have no faith? That’s what Jesus said. To have faith we must drive the demons of timidity and fear and cowardice out of us.

We are now in the end-times. Like it or not, we see destruction, plagues, pestilence everywhere. My friend, if it is not close to the time for Jesus to return seeing all the destruction around us then we are in for a very frightful experience. Aids, floods, cancer, murder, abortion, earthquakes, etc. If this isn’t the end-time, what great destructions will we see?

In Luke 21:11 Jesus tells of the end-times. “There will be mighty and violent earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences (plagues: malignant and contagious or infectious epidemic diseases which are deadly and devastating); and there will be sights of terror and great signs from heaven.”

In Hebrews, the writer tells us that if we keep on sinning we have a fearful end. Verse 27: “[There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God].” We must drive the demons out that cause us to sin. The fear that comes with this scripture is terror, exceedingly fear. Hebrews 10:31 says, “It is a fearful (formidable and terrible) thing to incur the divine penalties and be cast into the hands of the living God! We, as a people and nation, must repent for the sins we have committed and allowed. Leviticus says that we must confess our sins and iniquities and the sins and iniquities of our fathers. If not, this gives the demons legal ground to stay in us.

Last but not least, Revelation 21:8 says, “But as for the cowards (fearful) and ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) – [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.”

Well, that says it all. I don’t want any demon in me that will cause me to take part in the second death. I want to be free of the demon of the Coward. If that is your prayer also then below is a prayer and a list of demons to be driven out.

According to Leviticus 26:40 I confess and repent on my behalf and on behalf of my ancestors for ten generations for the sins and iniquities of being a coward and not trusting in and obeying the commandments of the Lord. In Jesus’ Name, I break the curse of fear and the curse of the Coward. I break the bondage of the spirit of slavery to fear and replace it with the spirit of adoption according to Romans 8:15 and 16. In Jesus’ Name I root out all doorkeepers of fear.

Now cast OUT the below demons in the name of Jesus, as noted on our basic web page.

Based on the Scriptures above, fear is a sin since it keeps you from going to Heaven. If you haven’t yet cast out the spirit of fear, then you need to ask the Lord to forgive you of being fearful every time you get afraid.

DEMONS:

Fawning fear, Craven fear, Cringing fear, Frighten, Made fearful, Dread, Faint hearted, Trembling, Fearful of heart, Hasty heart, Unbelief, No faith, Timidity, Faithlessness, Be afraid, Frightening thing, Terrific portent, Fearful sight, Terror, Terrible, Exceeding fear, Formidable fear, Be put in fear, Alarm, Uncourageous, Unholy dread, Dismay, Funk, Scariness, Fright, Fear and trembling, Nervousness, Apprehend, Shock, Weakling, Lose courage, Heartless, Phobias, Panic fear, Doubt, Fear stricken, Trauma, Fear that causes heart attacks, Fear that paralyzes, Fear that causes fainting, Cause to make fearful, Spirit of the Coward, Spirit of Slavery to fear

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The Atheist and His Stump September 3, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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by

Christianity is so sure about the truth it possesses that it is open to all criticisms of this truth; yes, it even welcomes such criticism as a spur that ensures a better ride on the horse of truth. ~ Richard Wurmbrand

The master of a house once instructed his foolish servant to travel into town to retrieve flour and salt for the evening meal. He cautioned, “Do not mix the salt and flour.”

toon

With only one plate to carry his purchases, the servant had the grocer pour the flour on the top side of the plate. He then turned the plate upside down and asked that the salt be poured on the bottom, not noticing the flour falling to the ground.

Returning home, his master inquired, “I see the salt, but where is my flour?” He turned the plate over to show him the flour and the salt too fell to the ground.

***

The one who says there is no God is like the servant in many ways. They have their salt but no flour. They will make their arguments of reasoning that there is no God, but refuse to hear of the convincing evidences of His existence. In crisis though, their salt is lost also.

The atheist looks only to the material world, ignoring that matter needs a maker. He will find himself sitting in a room staring at the floor and declaring the room has no ceiling. His refusal to look up gives him no reason to doubt his conclusion.

Consider the thoughts of Darwin who admitted, “The impossibility of concluding that this grand and wondrous universe with our conscious selves arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”

Isn’t it true for the atheist that atheism is self-evident? Why do they insist then on propagating the obvious? Shouldn’t they rather simply exclaim, “Eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we perish.”

Instead, my new good friend Ark has these words for me:

Your reasoning demonstrates so eloquently the inculcation you have been subjected to.
The faculty of simple common sense has been blunted to the point that you have lost the power to look and listen to something and realize how ridiculous you would sound even to yourself if you were prepared to switch off the evangelist creationist soundtrack for two minutes.

To this please know that we Christians are not the enemy to the atheists… we are their friends. We love the atheist because love understands.

The Lawsuits July 16, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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The Bible speaks specifically to this question of Christians filing lawsuits against one another.

1 Corinthians 6:1-7
When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers. (NLT)

Conflicts Within the Church

This passage in 1 Corinthians 6 is addressing the issue of conflicts within the church. Paul plainly teaches that believers should not turn to secular courts to resolve their differences, directly referring to lawsuits among believers—Christian against Christian.

Paul implies the following reasons why Christians should settle arguments within the church and not resort to secular lawsuits:

  1. Secular judges are not able to judge by biblical standards and Christian values.
  2. Christians go to court with the wrong motives.
  3. Lawsuits among Christians reflect negatively on the church.

As believers, our testimony to the unbelieving world should be a demonstration of love and forgiveness and, therefore, members of the body of Christ ought to be able to settle arguments and disputes without going to court. We are called to live in unity with humility toward one another. Even more than the secular courts, the body of Christ ought to have wise and godly leaders gifted in handling matters involving conflict resolution. Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, Christians submitted to the proper authority should be able to rightly resolve their legal arguments while maintaining a positive witness.

The Biblical Pattern for Settling Conflicts

Matthew 18:15-17 provides the biblical pattern for settling conflicts within the church:

  1. Go directly and privately to the brother or sister to discuss the problem.
  2. If he or she will not listen, take one or two witnesses.
  3. If he or she still refuses to listen, take the matter to the church leadership.
  4. If he or she still refuses to listen to the church, expel the offender from the fellowship of the church.

If you have followed the steps in Matthew 18 and the problem is still not resolved, in some cases going to court might be the right thing to do, even against a brother. I say this cautiously because such actions should be the last resort and decided only through much prayer and godly counsel.

When is Legal Action Appropriate for a Christian?

So, to be very clear, the Bible does not say a Christian can never go to court. In fact, Paul appealed more than once to the legal system, exercising his right to defend himself under Roman law (Acts 16:37–40; 18:12–17; 22:15–29; 25:10–22). In Romans 13 Paul taught that God had established legal authorities for the purpose of upholding justice, punishing wrongdoers, and protecting the innocent. Consequently, legal action may be appropriate in certain criminal matters, cases of injury and damage covered by insurance, as well as trustee issues and other specified instances.

Every consideration must be balanced and weighed against Scripture, including these:

Matthew 5:38–42
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (NIV)

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (NIV)

If you are a Christian considering a lawsuit, here are some practical and spiritual questions to ask as you decide on a course of action:

  1. Have I followed the biblical pattern in Matthew 18 and exhausted all other options for reconciliation of the matter?
  2. Have I sought wise counsel through the leadership of my church and spent extended time in prayer on the matter?
  3. Rather than seeking vengeance or personal gain, are my motives pure and honorable? Am I solely looking to uphold justice and protect my legal rights?
  4. Am I being completely honest? Am I making any deceptive claims or defenses?
  5. Will my course of action reflect negatively on the church, the body of believers, or in any way harm my testimony or the cause of Christ?

If you have followed the biblical pattern, sought the Lord in prayer and submitted to solid spiritual counsel, yet there seems to be no other way to resolve the matter, then pursing legal action may be the proper course. Whatever you decide, do it carefully and prayerfully, under the sure guidance of the Holy Spirit.

How does the Bible define success? June 7, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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When King David was about to die, he gave his son, Solomon, the following advice: “Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go” (1 Kings 2:3 CEV). Notice that David didn’t tell his son to build up his kingdom with great armies, or to gather wealth from other lands, or to defeat his enemies in battle. Instead, his formula for success was to follow God and obey Him. When Solomon became king, he didn’t ask the Lord for wealth and power, but for wisdom and discernment in order to lead God’s people. God was pleased by this request and granted it, giving Solomon a wise and understanding heart, more than any man had ever had before. He also gave Solomon the things he didn’t ask for—riches and honor among men (1 Kings 3:1-14). Solomon took his father’s advice to heart, at least for most of his reign, and reflected on it in his writing in Proverbs: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:1-4 (ESV).

Jesus reiterated this teaching in the New Testament when He declared which is the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). Loving God means obeying Him and keeping His commandments (John 14:15, 23-24). The first step in this process is accepting the free gift of eternal life offered by Jesus Christ (John 3:16). This is the beginning of true biblical success. When the gift is received, transformation begins. The process is accomplished, not by human will, but by God’s Holy Spirit (John 1:12-13). How does this happen and what is the result? It happens first through trusting the Lord and obeying Him. As we obey Him, He transforms us, giving us a completely new nature (1 Corinthians 5:17). As we go through trouble and hard times, which the Bible calls “trials,” we are able to endure with great peace and direction, and we begin to understand that God uses those very trials to strengthen our inner person (John 16:33; James 1:2). In other words, trouble in life does not cause us to fail, but to walk through trouble with God’s grace and wisdom. By obeying God, we gain freedom from the curses of this world—hate, jealousy, addictions, confusion, inferiority complexes, sadness without reason, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness and more.

In addition, followers of Christ (Christians) possess and display the fruit of the Spirit of God who resides in their hearts—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We have at our disposal knowledge to know what to do and where to turn (Proverbs 3:5-6), unhindered amounts of wisdom (James 1:5), and the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). As we grow and mature in Christ, we begin to think not only of ourselves but of others. Our greatest joy becomes what we can do for others and give to others, and how we can help them grow and prosper spiritually. Those who have risen to these heights of achievement understand true success, because a person can have all the power, money, popularity and prestige the world has to offer, but if his soul is empty and bitter, worldly success is really failure. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

One last word on biblical success. While transformation of our inner lives is God’s goal for us, He also abundantly provides good physical gifts to His children (food, clothing, houses, etc.), and He loves to do it (Matthew 6:25-33). Yet, most of us, at one time or another, focus on the gifts rather than on the Giver. That’s when we regress in our contentment and joy and we quench the Spirit’s transforming work within us, because we are focusing on the wrong things. That may be why the Lord sometimes limits His gift-giving to us—so we do not stumble over the gifts and fall away from Him.

Picture two hands. In the right hand there are the offer of true contentment, the ability to handle life’s problems without being overcome by them, amazing peace that sees us through all circumstances, wisdom to know what to do, knowledge and constant direction for life, love for others, acceptance of ourselves, joy no matter what, and at the end of life, an eternity with the God who freely gives all these gifts. The other hand holds all the money and power and success the world has to offer, without any of what the right hand holds. Which would you choose? The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there also is your heart” (Matthew 6:21). That which is in the right hand is the biblical definition of success.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/success-Bible.html#ixzz2VVx5EFLF

How to make a prayer to protect your home June 5, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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How to make a prayer to protect your home

You could say that we live today in a world totally extreme, ie, our society is full of love and hate, joy and injustice, smiles and tears. Cheers aside, we need to consider that violence seems to grow increasingly year after year, and this situation becomes increasingly complicated resolution for human justice.

This misunderstanding between men and ambitions, we are the main victims. We leave for work or school and can not really ensure that back, at least physically intact. The waves of terror groups and criminal gangs are on street corners, alleys, squares and even in places we frequent. Stay tuned ace suspect attitudes that may appear when we least expect and avoid places and times are attitudes that we can not neglect to our own integrity and survival.

The horror of these attacks against human life is not just restricted to the external environment or the “world seen by the TV screens and computer” and, sadly, even our own home may suffer attacks or invasions by the hands of crime and violence man insists grow and spread in its existence.

How to make a prayer to protect your home

Via Flickr

The family is the foundation of any society and supported this thesis, we must always act and preserve this factor as important for the continuity of life and good relationships between the children of God with their differences and similarities. It is the duty of the state to protect us from threats and evils committed by firearms, bombs and other violent acts and we will is hope for better days in which everyone can really understand and appreciate the meaning of the word “Fraternity and Peace” = “Marriage and Love”.

If you are a Christian, believes in the sovereign powers of God and the Saints, check out this prayer to protect your home and your family from the evils and dangers which, unfortunately, may be hanging around the walls of our homes and surroundings. Cover with this request to the skies, blessing your home, away from any curse that can circumvent or want to invade your home.

Prayer to protect House – How To:

As this is a collective prayer for grace, gather your family after dinner or at an opportune time to undertake together will, because the union is stronger than any individual attitude. Ask everyone will do the sign of the cross, give up your hands and direct them to repeat these words:

“Lord Jesus, We gather in your presence, to give thanks to life and ask you will protect this house and those who live here. Deliver us, Lord, from all enemies, curses, envy, violence and all the evil that might enter the residence. Deliver us, Lord, those who disseminate cruelty and move the wars, the bloodthirsty and evil conspirators who insist on ending the holy family. Deliver us, Lord, those who might try to arm or against this family and this house and attempting to invade the tranquility of this holy home.Deliver us, Lord, those who bully, steal, humiliate and terrorize for gold or for pure pleasure, threatening the physical and mental health of its victims. Deliver us, Lord, these cowards, who do not think or lengths against human life. We ask you, Lord, to come to our aid, protecting us from every evil, so that we can, will each new day, pray and thank you to life and the opportunity to live in thy word. Protect this house, Lord, for there is no greater security than your love and faithfulness. By our love for you, beg you, Lord: Take care of our home today and always. Amen! ”

How to make a prayer to protect your home

Via Flickr

It is important to awaken in his family the power of prayer and motivate them will thank and trust in the promises and divine powers. Believe it or not, prayer nourishes the spirit, removes curses and brings the souls of true peace, which before being abroad, needs to be inside. Take everything to God and to Him you shall have everything.Good Luck!

March 25, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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Many people consider themselves to be Christians. Why not? We enjoy a rich Christian heritage. But suppose you conducted an informal opinion poll near where you live, and asked ten people to explain what it takes to make someone a real Christian. Most likely, you would get ten different answers!

 Most people are as confused about this crucial issue.

   God wants each of us to know where we stand in His eyes. That’s why it isn’t mere chance that you have visited this page.

   Ask yourself, “Am I a real Christian?” You can know for sure!

What Is a Real Christian?

   Maybe you were raised in a Catholic or Protestant home. Or maybe you were brought up in some other religion. And you tell yourself, “Well, I think I’m all right. Don’t worry about me.” No matter what your background, I encourage you to take an honest look—beyond the myths—about what makes someone a Christian.

   To begin, let’s explore what you think makes a real Christian. Below are some common ideas about that.

  • Being born in a Christian nation

Myth #1

Being Born in a Christian Nation Makes You a Christian

 

I’ve met people who have told me, “I was born in Christian nation, so of course I am a Christian. What do you take me to be, a heathen?” The truth is that they could be a lot of things.

Others have said: “I’ve been a Christian all my life; I was born in a Christian home” or “in the church.” But since when does where you’re born determine what you are? As one of my friends quipped, someone may be born in a stable, but that doesn’t make him a horse. Nor does being born in an airport make someone an airplane.

Be thankful for where you were born and for the family and church in which you were reared. But don’t assume that automatically makes you a Christian. God has no grandchildren.

 

  • Thinking positively

Myth #2
Thinking Positively Makes You a Christian

Some people also think that if you give a hearty handshake, pat others on the back, smile, and ask, “How are you doing?” that you’re somehow a Christian.

Now, normally a Christian is cheerful and excited about life and genuinely cares about others. A Christian also understands that he or she is valuable in God’s eyes because He made us and loves us deeply.

But you could develop a certain sense of well-being and self-worth apart from knowing what God’s Word, the Bible, teaches us about thinking right in an unright world. So thinking positively about life in general and about yourself in particular doesn’t automatically make you a Christian.

 

  • Living a good life

Myth #3
Living a Good Life Makes You a Christian

And, then, living a clean and moral life doesn’t make anyone a Christian. Many atheists live a decent, straight life. Anyway, how good is “good”? That is the real issue. Most people have a warped idea of the true standard against which our goodness should be measured.

Compared to a mass murderer, you may feel that you’re ready for sainthood. Even compared with your family and friends, you may come out okay.

But God’s standard of goodness is very different. He puts you up against His Son, Jesus Christ, who lived an absolutely perfect life here on earth. Compared with this level of perfection, our own goodness looks pretty shabby.

Remember, the world has always had plenty of “good” people. So if goodness were enough, God need not have sent Jesus. The fact that Jesus had to come to die on the cross to make our forgiveness possible shows that goodness doesn’t make someone a Christian.

 

  • Going to church

Myth #4
Going to Church Makes You a Christian

Last Sunday four out of ten Americans went to church. But does that mean that all these people are Christians? of course not. Even some thieves go to church. Some people go to church because it’s a social habit. Others attend because their family makes them go. At the encouragement of a minister, they may even go to special classes for confirmation or membership.

It is true that Christians go to church and take an active part in church life. But attending church doesn’t make you a Christian.

 

  • Giving to others

Myth #5
Giving to Others Makes You a Christian

Many of us were taught since childhood to give a portion of our income to charity or to the church. Whether rich or poor, we feel it’s our “Christian” duty.

Even Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, says he feels a “duty to do something” so that “in some way I can make life a little less stinking for some people.” So he donates part of his wealth to worthy causes. And that’s commendable. But that’s not what makes somebody a Christian.

Yes, Christians give to others. More than anyone else, they help the needy and less fortunate. But you can give away everything you own and still not be a Christian.

 

  • Receiving a sacrament

Myth #6
Receiving a Sacrament Makes You a Christian

Maybe you were baptized as a child or young adult. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a Christian. Many violent inmates in penitentiaries were baptized years ago. But few people would consider these inmates Christians.

Or maybe you take Communion every Sunday. If you’re a Christian, that’s great. But I’ve had someone tell me, “I’m confused. I take Communion every week, but I don’t know what it means to be a Christian.”

You see, both baptism and Communion are biblical. God commands Christians to observe these ordinances. But receiving either one won’t make you a Christian.

 

  • Believing in God

Myth #7
Believing in God Makes You a Christian

Eight out of ten people in America say they believe God exists. But are they all Christians? Colonel James Irwin, remembered for his Apollo 15 moon mission, said that while he was in the Middle East, a Muslim leader said to him, “You talk about God so much–why aren’t you a Muslim?”

Do you see my point? If you can be a Muslim and believe in God, then it is not “believing in God” that makes you a Christian.

I have a good friend who believes in exercise. But he never does any. He is forty-five pounds overweight and hopelessly out of shape. I know countless small boys who believe in soap. But they are not a shade cleaner in spite of their belief. Belief, on its own, makes no difference. That is why belief, by itself, doesn’t make someone a Christian.

 

  • Talking about Jesus Christ

Myth #8
Talking about Jesus Christ Makes You a Christian

Many people talk about Jesus Christ and even speak well of Him. They may be teachers, ministers, church leaders, or “just plain folk.” But they may not even believe that the Bible’s message about Jesus is true.

Some actually have a distorted view of Jesus that fits their own way of thinking, rather than seeing the Jesus of history and the Bible. And that disqualifies them from calling themselves real Christians.

 

  • Praying

Myth #9
Praying Makes You a Christian

Certainly Christians pray. But someone can pray and still not be a Christian. Hindus pray all the time. Muslims pray five times a day.

When traveling abroad, the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat carried a little prayer rug on which to kneel five times daily. But he was a Muslim, not a Christian. So praying in itself doesn’t make someone a Christian.

 

  • Reading the Bible

Myth #10
Reading the Bible Makes You a Christian

Of course Christians love the Bible. Some of us read it daily. But just reading the Bible doesn’t mean you are a Christian.

When Karl Marx was seventeen years old, he wrote a fantastic explanation of part of John’s Gospel in the New Testament portion of the Bible. Great theologians agree with much of what he said. But Karl Marx eventually rejected the Bible’s authority, and during his adult life he called himself an atheist, a communist–anything but a Christian.

Nikita Khrushchev, the former premier of the USSR, read the Bible when he was a boy. Yet later he made it his ambition to bury the church in the Soviet Union by 1965. Instead, he is buried, and the Russian church continues to grow.

Read the Bible all you can. It explains how to settle this issue once and for all. Since it’s God’s Word, not man’s, we can trust it completely. But remember, just reading the Bible won’t make you a Christian.

 

What Makes You a Real Christian?

You can’t be born a Christian, and if thinking positively, living morally, going to church, giving to others, receiving a sacrament, believing in God, talking about Jesus, praying, and reading the Bible doesn’t make you a Christian, then what does? What is a real Christian?”

   Let me mention three basic principles from God’s Word that describe a real Christian. Then I’ll explain how today you can become a real Christian.

 



 

First of all, the Bible says that a Christian is someone who has found the way of life rather than the way of death. That way to life is found in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

   Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Notice that Jesus does not say he will show you the way. He says, “I am the way!”

   Jesus also spoke of a narrow road and a wide road. Many walk on that wide road, which in the end is the way of death (see Matthew 7:13).

   Do you sometimes feel as though you are lost and don’t know where you are going? When you become a Christian, you have found the way of life.

   You ask, “What kind of way is this way of life?”

   It is the way of peace. God’s peace fills your heart when you walk in the way of Christ. Jesus said to His followers, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27). God’s peace is a gift available to each of us.

   When you walk in the way of Christ, you experience an inner peace–tremendous quiet in your heart. The broken pieces in your life are put together again. Oh, the psychiatrist can analyze you. The psychologist can pinpoint some of the problems in your past. But only God can give you lasting peace.

   The way of life is also the way of purity. The Bible says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).

If you are fooling around with sin; if you are playing with immorality; if you are not being truthful in your business; if you are dishonest in your school, in your work, in your play, in your home–then you know nothing of the way of life.

   You may consider yourself a nice person, perhaps the life and soul of the party. But you are not a Christian, because the way of Christ is the way of purity.

   When you come to Christ, He forgives your sins and purifies your heart. That doesn’t mean you suddenly become holier than everyone else. On the contrary, you become more conscious of your shortcomings. But God gives you the power to live a righteous life.

   The way of life in Christ is also the way of love. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” Jesus said (John 13:35). The Bible adds, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers” (1 John 3:14).

   Today, the word love has been robbed of meaning. It’s used to describe a person exploiting the emotions of another for his own satisfaction and selfishness. But that is not love. True love wants the very best for someone no matter what it may cost us.

   The way of life is also the way of obedience. The way of the Christian is to serve only one master–Jesus. The Bible describes Him as “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). The Christian lives as though this is true. Jesus becomes your Lord, your Master, your King. What He says goes.

   The servant of a king waits for the slightest hint of a command, then rushes to obey. A soldier following the leadership of a great commander willingly obeys every order.

   Similarly, real Christians give God complete authority over their lives. We will go wherever He wants us to go, do whatever He wants us to do. And we do not care what it may cost in terms of comfort or reputation.

   Jesus has every right to rule like that. Remember, He is not supreme because He inherited authority from His ancestors like an earthly king or lord. Nor does He rule like a corrupt military dictator, by using great power to destroy.

   Jesus is Lord and King because He made us, He gave His life for us and our sins, and He always does what is best for us.

 


 

Second, a Christian is someone who enjoys eternal life. He has a more full and complete life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

   Life with Christ was not only God’s original design for us; it is the way He intends for us to live today. That is what makes life with Christ abundant.

   And eternal life never ends. It goes beyond physical death–forever and ever.

   Do you have eternal life? You may say, “Well, I’m not sure.”

   If I asked if you were married, would you say, “I think so”? Or suppose I asked if you are pregnant. Would you say, “A little bit”? Of course not! These are things you can be absolutely sure about.

   Do you know that you have eternal life? If you’re already a Christian, you know it. Jesus said concerning those who follow him in faith: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Do you have that triple security?

   First He says, “I give them eternal life.”

   Second He says, “They shall never perish.”

   Third, “No one can snatch them out of My hand.”

   What more could you want? A Christian is someone who discovers these three things to be true.

   The Bible also says, “He who has the Son has life” (1 John 5:12). In other words, eternal life is Christ in your heart. Can you say, “Yes, I know I have eternal life. I can remember when Christ came into my heart”?

 


 

Furthermore, a Christian is someone who has been born into God’s family and therefore has become one of God’s children. You say, “I thought everyone was a child of God. Isn’t God the Father of all mankind?”

   According to the Bible, God is the Creator of all people but not the Father of all people. Many people don’t even want him to be their Father.

   You become a member of God’s family by being born into it. The Lord Jesus said, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). What does that mean?

   When you and I were born into the human family, we had no choice about the matter. That’s physical birth.

   But to become a child of the heavenly Father, you must have a spiritual birth. This happens when we repent of our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

   Every year we celebrate our physical birth with parties and gifts. But do you remember your second birth? If not, you must make a decision. Do you want to become a part of God’s family by receiving Christ? The Bible says, “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

 

“But My Life Is So Bad!”

A few years ago, while visiting a South American country, a World-renowned Christian missionary spoke privately with the president of that country, a military man. “Mr. President,” he asked, “do you know Jesus Christ?”

   The president smiled and said, “I’ve led such a hard life that I don’t think God wants to know me very much.”

   “Mr. President, no matter what you’ve done, Christ died on the cross for you, and He loves you. If you want to know Him, you can meet Him right now.”

   As they continued to talk, the missionary explained what Christ had done on the cross, how He died to receive the punishment that should be ours for the wrong we have done. He continued, “Sir, would you like to receive Christ now?”

   The President paused and quite seriously said, “If Christ will receive me, I want to become a real Christian.”

   Right then they bowed their heads and prayed together. This general opened his heart to the Son of God and received Christ into his life.

   He thought God would never receive him because of his past. But when they finished praying, he stood and in typical Latin fashion gave the missionary a tremendous hug. “Thank you,” he said. “Now I know that Christ has really received me and forgiven me.”

What About You?

Have you decided to trust Christ yet? Would you like to know that you have eternal life? Would you like to start walking in the way of Jesus Christ, knowing that you are a child of God and that you are going to heaven?

   Let me tell you how you can become a real Christian–right now, before you finish reading this page.

 

Joining God’s Family

You must admit...

First, the Bible teaches that you must admit that your sins have separated you from God. That’s what I liked about that South American president. He readily admitted he was a sinner. In fact, he was so convinced of the evil and rebellion in his life that he felt God would never receive him.

   Have you ever owned up to God about those things in your life that hurt Him–selfishness, pride, greed, immorality, and all the rest? Have you ever admitted that you’ve been walking in the way of death? You see, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

   The Bible also says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That includes you and me. Is it time to own up to God and to receive the forgiveness that He wants to give you?

You must believe...

   Second, you must believe what Christ has done for you on the cross. The Bible says, “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

   When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered death so that each of us may be forgiven. We deserve to be punished for the wrong we have done in God’s eyes. But God sent His Son to receive our punishment in His body on the cross (see 1 Peter 2:24).

   It is like a judge finding a prisoner guilty, taking the prisoner’s place, and receiving the sentence himself. What magnificent love!

 

“But I Don’t Understand!”

You may not completely understand how God places the penalty for your sin on His Son. But you do not need to understand everything all at once. God only asks you to believe.

   I have been told that no one totally understands electricity. Scientists talk about it as a fundamental element of all matter. They can create electrical charges and harness electricity. But as a Stanford University scientist once told me, “Electricity in its essence is quite unexplainable.”

   When you become a real Christian, you may not understand it all at the beginning. But as you read the Bible and allow God to teach you, your understanding will grow.

You must confess...

   The final step you must take is to confess Jesus Christ as your Lord. You cannot inherit faith. It’s not enough to say, “My father was a fine Christian, and I was brought up in a fine Christian home.” That will not make you one of God’s children.

   Experience Christ for yourself! All of us who belong to Christ had to come for ourselves. Have you come to Him yet? Have you ever made that decision?

   You ask, “How?” The Bible says: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

   The best way I know to make Jesus the Lord of your life is to simply bow your head in prayer, confess your sins to God, by faith open your heart to Christ, believe in Him, and receive Him.

   If that’s your decision, then tell God now–silently if you wish–right where you are. You may wish to use this prayer:

“Heavenly Father, I want to be a real Christian. I realize that my sins have separated me from You. Please forgive me. I believe in what Christ did for me on the cross. I don’t completely understand it, but I accept it by faith. I do want to be a child of Yours. Please come into my life, Lord Jesus, and make me Your child right now. I’ll follow You and obey You forever. Amen.”

 

After You Become a Real Christian

Have you decided to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior? If so, you’ve made the most important decision of your life!

   You now belong to God’s family, and of course you will want to get to know God better. The best way is to read His Word. I suggest you begin with Luke’s Gospel in the New Testament. Remember that God speaks to us through the Bible. So as you read, look for examples to follow or instructions to obey.

   Saturate yourself with the Bible. Your thoughts and emotions will begin to change as you read the Word of God daily.

   Second, meet with other Christians. Find a church that believes the Bible, honors Christ, and teaches what a real Christian is. Go to church and talk to the minister. Say, “I received Christ,” and see what happens. If the minister doesn’t seem interested in helping you grow spiritually, then find some church that can help you.

   Third, begin to pray. You talked to the Lord just now. He answered your prayer. He loves you; He’s your Father. Since communication is the key to any relationship, your relationship with God can grow only as you talk to Him in prayer.

   If you have truly asked the Lord Jesus to become your Savior, you have taken the most important step in your life. You’ve begun an exciting journey that only gets better!

   And now, as a fellow Christian, I want to be the first to say, “Welcome to God’s family!”

Job 4-14 some wisdom and comfort ? March 18, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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Job 4-14

 

            After Job’s terrible lament in chapter three, his friends propose to speak and offer their wisdom and comfort to their suffering friend. It is important to realize that their theology is very conventional and fits in line with God’s statements in Deuteronomy 28. In that chapter, God promises blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. These three friends have experienced and observed that truth over the years and have made an understandable, but unwarranted, leap to a conclusion: blessing is a mark of God’s acceptance while suffering is an indication of God’s judgment.

That attitude is still heard today in several ways. We assume that people who live in harmony with God’s will should not suffer. Often, great catastrophe is associated with judgment for sin. Many religious leaders were quick to label the 2001 terrorist attacks as a deserved judgment on the U.S. for its cultural depravity. However, God did not promise blessings and/or curses on the U.S. and its people.

Job’s friends take turns speaking their minds. Job is quite free to respond to them. In the first speech cycle, Eliphaz’ words are answered by Job in about the same length. When Bildad takes up the task, he has less to say-but Job has more to say! When Zophar speaks, he has less yet to say-but Job is even wordier! Clearly, Job is ready to pour out his heart in rebuttal to the conventional ideas his friends offer.

 

Eliphaz speaks:

Eliphaz’ first speech is a rather gentle summary of the conventional position on suffering and difficulty. He chides Job for being unable to endure the pain he’s counseled others about. He restates his basic idea that only the wicked are punished (4:7-9), subtly indicting Job as an evildoer. He urges Job to swallow his pride and submit to God, asking for forgiveness (5:8). He finishes with a persuasive argument: once you do that, God in His gracious kindness will restore you to wealth and happiness (5:17-27). To that point, Eliphaz is speaking out of a short-sighted, but understandable, misinterpretation. But when he suggested that God would restore Job’s fortunes, he actually took the side of the devil. He implied that the only reason for serving God is for personal gain. Job responded without altering his insistence on his innocence.

 

Job replies:

Job’s reply continues his lament. He would prefer to die since he would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that he had never turned his back on God (6:8-10). He declared that there was no future for him (6:13). He also spent a good amount of time complaining that his friends were of no comfort at all! Job maintained his innocence and declared that he had done nothing to deserve this suffering (6:28-30). Then Job asks a question that is painful to hear, but brutal in its honesty: Why does God care about what a man does? Job asks why God makes so much of man, testing him and tormenting him. For that matter, why does God care about the man’s sin? How does a man’s sin hurt God (when it seems self-evident that sin rebounds to wound the sinner)? He finishes by addressing his question directly to God (7:17-20).

Bildad speaks:

Bildad took up where Eliphaz left off. While Eliphaz had been somewhat gentle and oblique in his indictment of Job, Bildad declared plainly that Job’s children got what they deserved (8:3-4). He declared that all received wisdom aims in the same direction. All the ancients understood exactly why these things happen, and Job must be in the same situation. He flatly stated that God does not reject the innocent (8:20), implying that Job must be guilty. He also implies that service to God is only for the reward of such a life (8:21-22).

 

Job replies:

Job began his rebuttal to Bildad by stating the obvious: nobody can argue with God (9:3). Even if God should favor Job with an appearance, Job is convinced he would be destroyed in an instant (9:16-19). Then Job makes an astonishing statement that must have left his hearers gasping: God is responsible for evil (9:22-24). He goes even further to ask the follow-up question: if it is not God who is responsible, who is? He acknowledged God’s omnipotence, but that opens a whole new set of problems. Now God is the cause of Job’s suffering.

Job then makes another penetrating insight into the spiritual problem facing humanity. We need an arbitrator who will work out our conflict with God (9:32-35). In this, he anticipates Jesus, who serves in precisely that function. Job pressed on by boldly declaring that he was not afraid to speak plainly to God (10:1-3). He wailed against God and pleaded for a few good days before death (10:20-22).

 

Zophar speaks:

Zophar’s speech is the shortest of the three friends. It is also the harshest. Job seems to have offended him in his earlier replies and now Zophar must speak out to defend God against Job! He stated to the group that somebody has to respond to what Job has suggested (11:1-3). Then he made an amazing assertion: Job is such an incorrigible sinner that God has forgotten some of his sins! (11:6) Then he made the same mistake the other two did: he urged Job to repent so that God would grant him a good life (11:13-15). Again, this takes the same position that Satan took before the throne of God, asserting that Job only served God for the material rewards it returned to him.

 

Job replies:

Finally, Job begins to turn his attention directly toward his “comforters.” Zophar seems to have struck a nerve with Job. He began by pointing out that those without pain certainly seem to have all the answers (12:1-5). He continued by pointing out that God has greater wisdom than all the ancients and He does exactly as He pleases. Job showed that he knew full well that God had power over all (13:1-2).

Job asked whether his friends would serve as God’s advocates (13:8). That would imply that they knew all the facts and were well acquainted with all truth and knowledge. Job then made a simple, but wrenching demand: he wanted God to tell him plainly where he had sinned (13:23). If it is in Job’s life, he can’t find it. Job finished his rebuttal of Zophar by declaring that life is short (14:5-6) and he would rather be dead and awaiting the judgment of God (14:11-15). His final words turn the indictment back upon his friends. They have offered him no comfort or peace at all.

 

Purpose of the Commandments March 11, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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Exodus 20

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In our last two lessons we saw how God descended on Mount Sinai in fire, thunder and lightning to deliver His ten holy commandments to the tribes of Israel. In the first commandment God said to them: You shall have no other gods before me. In the second: You shall not make for yourself an idol. Third: You shall not use the name of the Lord your God in vain. Fourth: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Fifth: Honor your father and your mother. Sixth: You shall not murder. Seventh: You shall not commit adultery. Eighth: You shall not steal. Ninth: You shall not lie. Tenth: You shall not covet the things of your neighbor.

These are the Ten Commandments which God sent down to Moses and to the Israelites. God laid on them a heavy burden, saying to them: Whoever can perfectly keep everything that the Ten Commandments demand, is worthy to live with Me forever. However, whoever keeps the whole law but fails in just one point is guilty of breaking all of it, and will be separated from Me forever!

That was the way of holiness God delivered to the tribes of Israel on Mount Sinai. God commanded that they obey Him in everything! Yes, everything! Are sinners able to keep all of God’s commandments? No, they are not! Nevertheless, that is exactly what God, the Holy One, requires! Therefore, the big question before us today is this: Why did God give His Ten Commandments to the children of Israel, when He knew that no one could keep them perfectly? Why did God place such a heavy burden on Adam’s descendants?

We have already seen how the children of Israel said, “We will do everything the Lord has said!” However, God knew that they could not do all that He required. The Israelites did not realize that they lacked the strength to fulfil the will of God perfectly. They did not recognize just how far they were from God and His great glory. That is precisely why God gave the Israelites ten perfect commandments, saying to them: Keep them all, if you can! But whoever fails in even one point will be separated from Me forever!

God intended, through those burdensome commandments, to reveal to the tribes of Israel their lack of ability to please Him. God knew that the children of Israel could not follow all His commandments, but they themselves had not yet discerned this. The Israelites were like religious people of our day, who wrongly think that God simply wants us to try to do good and on Judgment Day, if our “good works” outweigh our “bad works,” then God will say to us, “Come, and dwell in My presence forever!” However, those who think this are mistaken and do not know the Scriptures or the holiness of God. God is perfect, and cannot overlook even one sin!

By way of illustration, how many sins did our ancestor Adam have to commit before God expelled him from the Garden of Paradise? Ten sins? Or one hundred? Perhaps a thousand? No! Just one sin and Adam had to get out!

One sin and Adam was no longer perfect before God!

One sin and he could no longer approach God!

One sin and he had to die!

One sin and he earned for himself a place in the eternal fire!

Yes, God is holy and does not take sin lightly! That is why He told the children of Israel: “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (Jam. 2:10)

Therefore, if this is what the holiness of God is like, what we want to know is: Why did God give the Ten Commandments to the Israelites when He knew that no one could keep them perfectly? Listen to God’s answer: “No one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, [the purpose of the commandments is to reveal sin!]” (Rom. 3:20) So what is the purpose of the Ten Commandments? To remove sin? “No,” God says, “the purpose of the commandments is to reveal sin!” {or as NIV translates it: to make us “conscious of sin.”}

Did you get that? Why did God give His ten holy commandments to Moses and the children of Israel? Did He give them those commands so that by keeping them they could earn the right to enter Paradise? No! That cannot be because God says, “If you fail to keep all, you are condemned!” Can the children of Adam perfectly obey God in all that He has commanded? Can one draw pure, clean water from a dirty, polluted water pot? Impossible!

What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments? The Scripture says: “The purpose of the commandments is to reveal sin!” God did not give the commandments to save us from His judgment. God gave them to show us that we are condemned sinners and that we need a Savior! Is this clear in your mind?

The Ten Commandments are somewhat like an X-ray machine at the hospital. If I am sick and I do not know what is wrong with me, perhaps the doctor will examine me by taking some X-rays. What is the purpose of an X-ray photo? It has just one purpose: to reveal what is wrong inside my body. In a similar way, the holy commandments which God entrusted to Moses are like the hospital’s X-ray machine. Their purpose is to reveal what is wrong–the sin that is in my heart and soul. How can the Ten Commandments reveal the sin that is in me? They reveal my sin in this way: If I compare my conduct with God’s holy law, I will see how far I am from God–in my thoughts, my words and my deeds. When I look at God’s law and then I look at myself, I know that I have sinned against God and sinned against man and that I cannot be admitted into the pure and uncontaminated presence of a holy God!

Just as the hospital X-ray machine is useful for showing what is not right in a person’s body, so the Ten Commandments are useful for showing what is not right in a person’s heart. And just as the X-ray cannot cure the one who is sick, likewise the Ten Commandments cannot cure my heart which is full of sin. In order for that to happen, I must go back to the Great Physician, that is, to God. Only God has a plan to save me from the death and condemnation that await me due to the sin that is inside me.

Perhaps someone says, “Wait a minute, my friend! I’m a good person! I am not like others who steal, cheat, and commit adultery!” If that is your attitude, clearly you have not yet fathomed God’s holiness! What you need to know is that, on the Day of Judgment, God will not compare you with your sinful neighbor. He will compare you with His holy and perfect law, which states: “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it!” (Jam. 2:10) The God who says: “You shall not commit adultery” also says, “You shall not lie!” Thus, if you have not committed adultery, but have told just one lie, then you have transgressed the whole law (see James 2:11) and cannot enter the presence of God in Paradise, because the Scripture says: Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful.” (Rev. 21:27) What is certain is that we can never please God through our own efforts! That is what the Word of God declares when it says:

 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6) “God condemns all as sinners. There is no one righteous, not even one. All have turned away. There is no one who does good, not even one. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!” (Rom. 3:19,10,12,22,23)

 

Now then, if that is what we are like before the One who must judge us, how can we escape His punishment? What must we do to be saved? Are we without hope? Based on our own efforts we have no hope. But thanks be to God, He has designed a plan to rescue the children of Adam from the punishment of sin!

Let us now continue in the Torah, in the book of Exodus, chapter twenty, and see the way God provided for the children of Israel to deliver them from the curse which His holy law brought upon them. After God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, the Scripture says:

 

(Exod. 20) 18When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance… 21while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. 22Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven… 24[Therefore,] make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.”

 

Thus, Moses wrote in a book everything that God instructed him. Then early in the morning Moses arose, made an altar at the base of Mount Sinai as God had commanded. When Moses finished making it, he ordered some young men to sacrifice some bulls, collect the blood in bowls, and burn the flesh on the altar. Then Moses took the blood of the bulls and sprinkled it on the altar, on the book in which he had written the Ten Commandments, and on all the crowd, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you.” (Exod. 24:4-7)

Thus we see Moses, at the commandment of God, making an altar, sacrificing some animals, and sprinkling the blood upon the whole multitude of Israel. What was the reason for all of this? God wanted to remind the Israelites of what He had taught their ancestors Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” (Heb. 9:22) Everyone who wished to approach God had to approach Him in the perfection of a spotless sacrifice.

Why did God command those animal sacrifices? God commanded them because He is righteous, and His holy law states that the penalty of even the “smallest” of sins is death and eternal condemnation, far from God and His great glory. And since the children of Israel could not keep all His holy commandments, they had to bring to God a sacrifice without blemish, so that the innocent victim could replace the one who was guilty. However, as we have already learned, animal sacrifices could not remove sin, they could only cover man’s sin, until God sent the holy Redeemer into the world. The Redeemer would willingly offer Himself as the final Sacrifice for sin.

How glad we are today to know that this Savior has come and has paid for our sins once for all. Do you know His name? Yes, it Jesus. The name Jesus means the Lord saves. Jesus had no earthly father. He came from heaven. He did not inherit the sin nature found in all of Adam’s descendants. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Ten Commandments and fulfilled all of God’s righteous requirements. Because He was without sin, He was qualified to give His life as a sacrifice which takes away the sin of all who believe in Him. Based on the Redeemer’s perfect sacrifice, God can declare you and I as righteous, because the One who had no sin, suffered the penalty for your sin and mine.

Dear friends, based on what we have studied today, let us remember two very important thoughts.

1.) First, know for sure that no one can save themselves by keeping the Ten Commandments! Listen again to what the Scripture says about this: “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law!'” (Gal. 3:10) “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (Jam. 2:10) No one will be saved by trying to keep the Ten Commandments! The purpose of the commandments is to reveal sin.

2.) The second thought that we must keep in our minds is that God alone has a plan to save sinners! Listen to what the Scripture says: “There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all!” (1 Tim. 2:5,6) Truly, only God has a plan to save sinners.

And so, listening friends, we leave you with these two thoughts: No one will be saved by trying to keep the Ten Commandments! And: God alone has a plan to save sinners!

Thank you for listening.…

May God bless you and give you insight into what we have studied today, for His Word says:

 

“No one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin!” (Rom. 3:20)

History Repeats Itself March 1, 2013

Posted by frewon9 in Inspirational.
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Forgotten lessons

That is usually the way it is when history repeats itself—the second time around is far worse than the first time. But WHY does this redundant cycle of devastation happen? What is the cause of such calamity?

After WWI, socialism swept across Europe, particularly in Germany. This led to anarchy and economic hardship—setting the stage for a leader to come along promising a better way of life and solutions to the intractable problems facing the population of that country. Enter Adolf Hitler and his diabolical Nazi party:

Though some thought Hitler half–mad, many were convinced by what he said. He gradually rose to power, aided by the Great Depression that had left millions of Germans unemployed. Once Chancellor of Germany, Hitler went about creating a one–party state of which he was dictator. Rule was maintained through a secret police, the Gestapo. Having brought economic recovery to the country, Hitler then pursued his foreign policy to unite all Germans in a greater single Germany, to destroy Communism and to conquer and colonize Eastern Europe, establishing a ‘thousand–year Reich’ (Speeches That Changed the World. Smith–Davies Publishing, Ltd, London, 2005, page 80).

Der Führer, as he was called, gradually rose to power and prominence and seemed to be just what Germany needed to save it from the perils it was floundering in. The economic collapse of the 1930s gave Hitler the pretext he needed to institute Nazi rule and restore German dominance. In the course of time, it only led to their utter defeat, leaving them to deal with the rampant ravages of war for decades. But why did this orgy of death and mayhem happen in the first place? Because the lessons of history were quickly forgotten.

Instead of taking measures to prevent the rise of the Third Reich to such powerful heights, allowing it to threaten the rest of the world, leaders of that day chose to appease Hitler, turn a deaf ear to the reality at hand and ignore the mistakes of the past that had given rise to World War I. Hence World War II became history repeated!

History repeating itself again?

We are seeing some of the same economic problems threatening to once again engulf the European continent, and there are reports that Nazi groups, or national socialists, are on the move again in Germany, albeit in a relatively small way for now. And as in the past, leaders are not sounding the alarm. No one seems to have the slightest inclination to address the rise of this potential Frankenstein monster.

History IS starting to repeat itself again in that part of the world. General Douglas MacArthur said this about the historical cycle of wars:

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace….Military alliances, balances of powers, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door.

As time goes by and a new generation replaces the old, memories and concerns about past mistakes start to fade and lessons learned seem less and less important. That was then, this is now, is the rationale. That was so long ago and so far away, they say. Such disasters could never happen today, they argue. In fact some even try to revise history and claim certain events never actually occurred at all. They make such claims about the Jewish holocaust, calling it nothing more than a myth and Zionist propaganda.

However, there is undeniable proof that the holocaust perpetrated by Hitler’s killing machine did indeed occur. Eyewitness accounts, newsreels, photos and former prisoners who still live today give unshakable evidence that the holocaust death camps did exist. And some are left intact to this very day as sad, silent edifices of the unfathomable evil carried out within their guard towers and barbed wire fences. As a case in point, Auschwitz still stands as stark testimony to those monstrous crimes against humanity.

Another era, another depression

For many years we have been told by leading politicians and economists that the Great Depression could never happen again. Supposedly, solid safeguards were built into our economic system to prevent the repeat of such a financial disaster. And then along came the great recession of two years ago! Experts are now telling us that we were right on the edge of the precipice and came ever so close to plunging over the edge into a depression—of international scope—worse than the first one. We are being warned that we are not on solid financial footing yet. Some are saying that a double–dip recession is definitely in our future if drastic action isn’t taken and soon.

The Wall Street Journal featured this blaring headline in its weekend edition of May 29–30, 2010 “Dow’s Worst May Since ’40”. The article went on to explain that, “Stocks End Month Down 7.92% as Europe Crisis, Flash Crash Unsettle Investors….Between the ‘Flash Crash’ and angst over the worsening crisis in Europe, stocks suffered a dismal May, posting their worst decline for the month since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House.”

Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong included some very interesting information about economic depression in his Autobiography, Volume I. On pages 235–236, he referred to a speech given by the well–known statistician Mr. Roger Babson, at the Association of Commerce luncheon in the Morrison Hotel in Chicago:

“Well, gentlemen,” he said, “you will remember that a year ago I warned you that within one year we would be in the throes of the worst depression our generation has ever seen. I noticed many of you smiling unbelievingly then. Well, that year has rolled around, and here I am again, and here is the depression with me.

“I looked at the way people as a whole were dealing with one another. I looked to the source which determines future conditions. I have found that source may be defined in terms of ‘righteousness’. When 51% or more of the whole people are reasonably ‘righteous’ in their dealings with one another, we are heading into increasing prosperity. When 51% of the people become ‘unrighteous’ in their business dealings with their fellows, then we are headed for bad times economically!”

When Mr. Babson’s “source” principle is applied to the way people deal with each other today, “righteousness” is very hard to find anywhere in the equation! Because of that, we may be past the point of no return in the global economy. The greatest depression ever to befall the international community is hovering in our future, and especially hard–hit will be the Western world. It looks like it is only a matter of time! We have not learned the lessons of history regarding fiscal restraint. Our leaders are not following the simple, mandatory principle of not spending money we do not have. They make monetary decisions on a regular basis that dig the deficit gorge deeper and deeper, second by second. When we reach critical mass, our countries will then tumble over the cliff and go crashing down into a financial abyss.

Superpowers can fail

Since mankind refuses to turn to God and obey what He says, He will not guide them. Therefore the same mistakes are repeated over and over again. Notice Romans 1:28: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting” (NKJV).

The mighty Roman Empire continued for over 500 years from 31 B.C. until it fell in 476 A.D. The superpower of the world in its day—militarily, economically and politically—it was a shining showplace of intellectual enlightenment, military might and economic prosperity. Rome was considered the “Eternal City” and led this powerful empire to new heights of grandeur and fame. It was unthinkable that the Roman Empire would ever fall—ever!

But it did fall in 476 A.D. Why and how did this happen and what does it mean for us today? Is history repeating itself with today’s world superpower, the mighty United States of America?

America is now in decline just as Rome was in its waning years. The core causes of the Roman Empire’s fall are the same core causes of America’s decline. Will we fall as Rome did? Will history repeat itself because we refuse to learn the lessons from the past and avoid making the same mistakes that brought about the collapse of that superpower? You can find out more about this critical subject by ordering our free CD package on the Modern Romans, offered on the back cover of this issue.

We are living in very sobering and serious times. It behooves all of us to remember the lessons of history and heed the warnings found in Biblical prophecy, which is actually news and history written in advance.

Jesus Christ plainly tells all who will heed the handwriting on the wall to do this: “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:34–36).

Charles E. Bryce

exponential growth impossible January 29, 2013

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http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2012/04/economist-meets-physicist/

 

Exponential growth is often widely underestimated. Here are a few issues where many people make mistakes because they don’t understand the simple math of exponential growth.

  1. Economic Growth: When there are trade offs between efficiency and equality, many people today think that the taxes, regulation and redistribution are worth a slightly lower growth rate.  However, when this trade off is applied over a long time period, the results can be staggering. If the choice was made in 1870 to have more equality at a cost of 1 percentage point of growth a year, America in 1990 would be no richer than Mexico.
  2. Entitlement Spending and National Debt: As I have pointed out previously, the United States is headed for very high debt levels if entitlement spending is not reformed.  One very simple way to fix this is to index entitlement benefits to inflation and not income. The growth of the economy would make it easy to pay for a safety net at today’s living standards. Unfortunately, this would only work for Social Security and not Medicare as the medical system is structured in a way that leads to health care inflation greater than that of the real economy.  Additionally, there is another problem when the net national debt reaches 100% of GDP. If the market perception of the debt turns negative and nominal interest rates remain higher than nominal GDP growth, then there is no way for the economy to grow itself out of debt.  This is the current situation with Greece, and Japan isn’t doing too much better.
  3. Personal Finance and Pension Plans: If a prudent investor can make 10% real returns in a year, then they can turn 50 thousand dollars into over 1.6 million dollars after 35 years. This simple math explains how many of the rich people today consist of those who have saved and invested prudently. On the other hand, a supposedly fully funded pension fund planning on a world of 8% real returns that finds itself in a world of 4% real returns will find itself underfunded by over 75% 35 years later (In this case, the people making pension return assumptions are underestimating how much they matter, they just know that their books look better if they assume a higher return). Robin Hanson has been proposing that people don’t give to the future because they don’t care about it, but it may also be that they do not fully understand the impact of exponential growth*.
  4. Overpopulation and increasing Resource Consumption: Overpopulation does not seem to be the exponential problem that we once thought it was. Once become rich enough, their population growth rate slows down. The UK’s Ministry of Defense 2008 Strategic Trends report expects the population to level out at around 9 billion people between 2050 and 2100 (page 25).  While overpopulation is itself not a problem, the exponential economic growth of these emerging economies are coincident with an exponential increase in demand for resources and these limited resources present constraints on growth.

Having established that exponential growth rates are important, here is a handy rule of thumb that will give an intuitive understanding of exponential growth. To calculate the doubling time of an exponentially growing series, take 70 (or 69.3 to be exact) and divide it by the growth rate. This means that a 10% growth rate leads to a doubling every 7 years, a 7% growth rate is a doubling every 10 years and a 3.5% growth rate is a doubling every 20 years.