Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS, Dan Mayfield, 7/20/14

When there is confusion, I'm certain of one thing that it's not God's doing for He is not the author of confusion, 1 Cor 15:33. When there are a 100 doctrinal positions on the topic of forgiveness, at the most, only one is the correction position. The other 99 are false and not of God.

The following is what I know about forgiveness of others. When the evening news tells of the murder of a young college student, I know that a sin against man and God has been committed. I know that that sin has separated the killer against his God. He is lost and he will stay lost for eternity until he repents and appeals to God for salvation. Now in conjunction with this breaking news story, we see video clips of a candle light vigil with a larger gathering of people who are sobbing and praying all of which is led by the local Community Church pastor. And then this man takes the microphone and says that our job is not to condemn but only forgive. And so everyone says, "Amen", and they forgive the murderer. What I know is that Community Church leader is a false teacher and doesn't know a wit about forgiveness. Such a person should not be listened to. How arrogant to make himself more forgiving than God! He surely wouldn't say that murderer is saved without confessing a being washed by God, would he?! Certainly not. And so while he would readily admit that that man is lost because he is a rebel with blood on his hands, he has the temerity to lay a burden on the victim's families, telling them they aren't Christian and they aren't going to be forgiven if they don't forgive the murderer.

CORRECTING THE NOTION OF "UNCONDITIONAL FORGVENESS"
With so many ideas bandied about, understanding what the Bible says about being forgiving is like trying to build on shifting ground. We haven't yet decided if we are forgiving sins or just "offenses". We can't decided if we actually forgive sins. We are confused as to whether we are forgiving Christians or alien sinners, or both. We hear people say that we can't forgive because we are not God. On the other hand we hear that we must forgive or we aren't being Christ-like. We are being told that there is no hard and fast rule about expecting repentance. While at the same time it is insisted that Jesus established that we must forgive unconditionally: which is itself a hard and fast rule. We were assured by people that this principle of "unconditional forgiveness" leaves intact the church discipline described in Matthew 18:15-18 because it is dealing with real sin in the church. On the other hand we are to believe that the Jesus taught the principle of "unconditional forgiveness" by forgiving the most horrific sin committed by man. The Bible isn't confusing, but it gets terribly confusing if an assumption about the meaning of Jesus' words on the cross becomes the rule. I know from Jesus' example that I can pray for the entire world be saved, but I also know that forgiveness will come if the world repents. Many people walk away from all of this in confusion. The Bible isn't confusing. But this doctrine, which I believe is false, is very confusing.

Should we be forgiving. Absolutely we should be. We should be forgiving as God is forgiving towards us.

Before you reject this and cling to the mindless opinion of the Community Church leader, remember that Jesus said, "If your brother sins, REBUKE HIM, AND IF HE REPENTS, forgive him." Lk 17:3,4. Let's look at this more closely.

First, the misled person makes the point that Jesus is talking about a sinning brother, not a non-Christian murderer. True enough. Friend, do you think God wants you to extend MORE grace to the non-Christian than to the Christian? That makes no sense. You think it acceptable to extend your grace of forgiveness to a murderer when you see that God does not expect you to do this for a brother. "But Dan, we might be able to save the sinner." If giving unconditional forgiveness to an unrepentant sinner was effective to save, why wouldn't it be effective to save the Christian Brother? God is not telling us, "Give the gift and maybe the sinner will put away his sin." That's an example of casting your pearls before the swine and it doens't work. Why would you think God wants you to extend more grace to the non-Christian murderer? He wouldn't and many people are confused about this. The truth is, the Community Church leader would most likely tell his parishioners to forgive both the Brother or alien sinner without there being any sign of repentance. So let's get back to the point then. Christian forgiveness involves addressing sin.

Second, Jesus says to "rebuke him". This is a confrontation with the sinning brother to beg and warn him of his trespass. To ignore or leave out this command by Jesus to "rebuke him" is to pervert the truth. This I know is very hard to do and it's why so many bypass the confrontation and move ahead to the forgiving part. This is misguided, confusing, and a downright perversion of what forgiveness is. Then comes the redirect....

You can't forgive someone if it's something you are doing only for yourself. "If you don't forgive the murderer, you will be harboring hatred and you can't let someone else's sin control you. The forgiveness of an unrepentant murderer isn't for him; it's for you and for you own peace." Friend, this is not forgiveness. Whatever is being counseled here is not forgiveness. It's something else but it's being called forgiveness. It's good advice to not let others control you and a victim of a trespass needs to have God's peace and comfort, but it's a false doctrine say that this is forgiveness. Forgiveness is completely about the other person. It's about restoring peace between people. It's about giving a gift to the grieved sinner; which is what 2 Cor. 2 is describing where the man is grieved over his sin and Paul tells the church to forgive the man and love him, 2 Cor. 2:6,7. This idea that it doesn't matter if the murderer is repentant or not, that I give forgiveness for me, that it's something I have to do for my own peace, is a great perversion that must be from the devil. This is know.

Third, Jesus said forgiveness of the sinning brother is conditional, that you are to rebuke and "if he repents", then you are to forgive him. Once you have done the courageous and loving thing of approaching a sinner and once he has expressed his sorrow, then you must forgive him. And if you don't forgive such a repentant person, you are in some serious trouble with Almighty God. Jesus said,
"14"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15"But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." Mt 6

 Fourth, the business of forgiving is the work of God we do in our own lives. God wants relationships restored and for their to be reconciliation. So we forgive as Christ forgave us, Col. 3:12. Christians ought to be the most forgiving people in the world. We see how God forgives us when we turned from sin and determined we would walk by faith. He continually forgives us on the basis of our faith. "But Dan, God forgives you before you even ask." This is the kind of confusion and obfuscation that people bring up to support their error of giving "unconditional forgiveness". But while it's true that God continually cleanses the soul of the person walking in the light (see 1 John 1:6ff), it's forgiveness He gives to a person who has faith. This person has entered God's covenant and so God continually cleanses this person of faith. But if this person turns back to the world by making a practice of sin, then God withholds forgiveness.

"But Dan, it's not Biblical to withhold forgiveness." Friend I want you to think about this for a second. Did Jesus not say that
"If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” Jn 20:23.
Sometimes sins are forgiven and sometimes sins are retained. Now Jesus has already told the disciples how forgiving they are to be, if the sinner repents forgive 7x70 times a day, and Jesus told them if they did not forgive others, God would not forgive them. But here Jesus tells them they will retain sins, which means to withhold forgiveness, and so grownups like the Apostles could understand that our forgiveness is not unconditional. The Community Church leader who tells the candlelight vigil crowd to forgive the unrepentant murderer is a person who does not understand Biblical forgiveness and he probably shouldn't be trusted to teach much on anything - except for human philosophy, maybe.

Finally, Yes God alone can forgive. Only God can erase a person's sins from the book of deeds. This He does by the blood of Christ. This person must repent, be buried with Christ in Baptism, and covenant to walk in the light. And yes, we do forgive sins. We are to forgive as Christ forgave us and we must do so if we wish to be forgiven by God. We pray, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We forgive Christians and we forgive alien sinners. If my non-Christian friend trespassed against me, and then he says he is sorry, I show the kind of grace God has shown to me, and I forgive him. In the church, because we judge one another (see 1 Cor. 5), we will not forgive but will retain the sins of a brother and will disfellowship him until he does repent. Failure to rebuke and retain sins of an erring brother is to allow the leaven of his sin to infect the entire church. So forgiveness is not unconditional. This I know.

I humbly admit that I only know what God has revealed. I pray that this lesson will help you to be more forgiving. But I hope that you will not suffer the excessive burden of being told you must forgive and unrepentant person.

I said this with love and humility. - Dan Mayfield

DO THE JOB GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU: A MESSAGE TO PARENTS WITH CHILDREN AT HOME, by Dan Mayfield (testimonial by one of my children is at the bottom)

Is there a right way and a wrong way to parent? And if there is a right way, can we parents expect favorable results compared to the results of parenting the wrong way? I get the feeling that parents resign themselves to the notion that getting a child to become a follower of Christ is like throwing dice, a matter of luck, which means the parents aren't to blame one way or the other. But that's not a true representation of how parents view how their children came to be what they are. The truth is that if the children became Christians, it is attributed to intentional parenting with unyielding determination see it happen. But, if the children didn't become Christian, it was due to forces outside of parental control. I believe in my heart and known that most parents can and should do better.
Telegraph Parenting. I've never seen a case where a child wasn't going exactly the direction the parents were telegraphing for their children to go. In sports we hear how the boxer telegraphed that he was about to throw a left or a quarterback telegraphed his throw was going to a particular receiver. That telegraph gives away the intention and the real game. The offensive play can be set up to give the appearance of run, but a telegraph will communicate to a perceptive defensive player what's really happening. A parent can claim to be a Christian but the children can tell if you are by your television and movie viewing habits. What are you telegraphing? Are you kind and loving or are you telegraphing something else? Kids learn to watch for what is the real message. If parenting is like a sporting event, every parent is telegraphing something. A dedicated Christian parent will always be living his or her faith. The children will perceive every message being telegraphed and they will act accordingly. Telegraph Parenting refers to the real intention of the parent. As a parent, what are you telegraphing to your children?

"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him." Psalm 127:3
Folks, we want and need to take our children from point A to point B, which is to say from childhood to adulthood. And here's the wonderful thing. Whatever you are telegraphing by the values and interests you focus on is the "point B" you are telegraphing for your children to go. Now if we did nothing in between the two points, that "nothing" is still something which will result in children grown into adult bodies but it won't result in them being mentally, emotionally and, most importantly, spiritually equipped for adulthood. The children that are a heritage from the Lord require constant guidance and maintenance. It's a full-time job raising children into adults. The hands off approach to parenting is not an option when we understand what makes an adult in God's eyes. The end-game is too important so mind what you are telegraphing. A child's eternal destiny is in the balance.
Parents with grown children who are not walking with the Lord can take offense at this message, and they might even get defensive. Understand that I'm not attacking you. We are imperfect. If you made mistakes, correct them where you can. Start now at being the best example you can be. This message is true and it's aimed at those parents with children who are in between the point A and point B.
Christians measure success differently than the world. The world feels successful if the child stayed out of jail and is in college. The world measures success by the things accumulated. But Christians measure success by whether children are walking with the Lord, Jesus Christ. Success to Christian parents is seeing the spirit of Christ in the children. When children are compassionate, forgiving, moral people who hope for a reward in heaven, then that's success.
The Apostle said, "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord", Eph 6:4. This seems a mystery to many people. The words are simple enough, but actually doing them is to many parents as foreign as a new language. But it's not as hard as that. To "bring them up in" anything needs to be the thing parents walk and talk about. The "discipline and instruction of the Lord" needs to be telegraphed in every area of the home. This idea is only foreign because it's not the language and focus of the parents. Dads focus on sports. Moms focus on makeup and fingernails. [Ha, how's that for stereotyping! But I'm making a point, so stay focused.] Dads are bringing their sons up in the interests and values of the secular world. Moms are bringing their daughters up in the pop-culture of a world that hates God. Our children are being brought up in something, but it's not in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Young parents, where do you want your children to end up? I don't remember where I was, but I saw a circle of women gossiping about someone they knew. The venom and meanness was embarrassing. I was embarrassed for them as they should have been for themselves. The young children in the group received the message being telegraphed: be nice to people's faces but cut them to pieces behind their backs. If we want to be successful in parenting, we need to telegraph that seeing Jesus Christ is the most important thing to us. Telegraph in our speech kindness and love for others. We need to put worship and reverence towards God first before every sporting event. We need to make sacrificial giving come before another weekend shopping trip. "Daughter, are you going to spend all of your money on yourself? Do you want to rob God?" (Mal. 3:8). And if you yourself speak sacrifice to God, then telegraph it also with actual sacrifice of your time, your money, and your talents. We need to speak more of compassion and forgiveness and let our children see that mean gossiping is unbecoming of Christians.
Excuses for failure. When I think of examples people give for children going astray - peer pressure, predispositions, free will, prodigal sons, Jesus' siblings - I see failure. I don't see God's failure, but I see the failure of human fathers. Prophets, Priests and Kings failed the children of God. Will God have grace for these fathers and leaders? Sure, if they are honest and humble about it. When I think about peer pressure taking children the wrong way, I see failure. When I see the siblings of Jesus not believing and taunting him to go to Jerusalem, I see failure. I gather no consolation from failure. God wants success and he's given us parents 20 or so years to get it right. When I hear of children having a predisposition, if it's evil, it's a predisposition to be broken and discarded. It's a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of our children. Will the world win or will we fight so hard for them that no excuse gives us consolation? In the end, the children will know who is fighting for them.
When raising my five children, with the help of my beautiful wife who is the 'worthy woman', I could detect a distinct moment in their lives where I personally sensed the child was somewhere between me and the peers/world. The world was pulling. I was pulling. I remember distinctly sitting down with my children at what I believed to be pivotal moments where I spoke with passion and love and reason to let me children know that I saw what was happening and that I wasn't going to let it happen. I would remind them of God's will. I would remind them that God has given me a job and I intended to bring them safely to Him. I would spell out exactly what was in the world and how their peers were not going to be around in four or six years, but that I would be there when they were marrying, when they were having their children. I would remind them of where true love was. My wife and I had the rock solid conviction that we were not going to lose one of our children to the world. I can say without any equivocation that you will not find very many people in all of your life who has the conviction that I'm talking about. "But Dan, you can't control them. God gave them free will." With God's help, we let our children know the direction they were going to go and when they got there, they would be so happy and thankful that they chose that way. "Free will" isn't really what children have when they still don't know their right hand from their left. "Free will" is what you and I have as adults. Children left to their "free will" are like abandoned, unloved children, because they don't have parents with the faith to telegraph in every way the right direction for their lives to go.
Final word. Parents, ask yourselves if you are going to heaven. Are you confident of that? Is Jesus your constant companion? Are you daily guided by His wisdom? Does your love for and faith in God bubble up and overflow naturally so that it makes sense and works for your children? Is your faith undissimulated and unadulterated so there's not an ounce of doubt in your children's minds that it's real? Telegraph real faith and telegraph that your children are going to walk with God. Have in your mind that there's no excuse for failure. We parents have an important job with eternal consequences. And I'm serious that every parent is communicating the "point B" they intend to take their children. Just make sure that in every way you are pointing your children to walk with Christ.
God bless you. Dan Mayfield
_____
The following is from our third child, Heidi Cooley, the middle of our five children. It is her response to this post of mine:
Hi, I am Dan Mayfield's daughter, the third of 5 children. I wanted to step in and give my perspective hoping to diffuse a little bit of the hurt feelings I see in some of the posts. My parents had 5 kids who could not have been more different in our personalities and in the ways that we needed to be disciplined. We were all very different. I was the most trying of all of the children since I hear the most about "Heidi" stories. However, there were a few constants in my family that wove all of us and our individual needs and personalities to a strong, unbreakable relationship with God. We had parents who loved God with ALL of their hearts. We knew without a shadow of a doubt where they stood on every issue because they were rock solid in their teaching and beliefs. We never missed a chance to be with Christians unless we were sick. We heard the name of God on the lips of my parents when they woke and when they walked along the way. It was constant. But more than words was our ability to see through the words to a genuine and humble heart of parents who were not perfect but who were following Someone(God) who was perfect. They never gave up on us. They were relentless in their checking up on where we were and what we were doing. At the time it was a little annoying as a teenager but now I see why they did it. As teenagers you don't see the big picture. You see the here and now but thankfully we had parents who had a close watch on us and many prayers for wisdom and guidance going up on our behalf. With 5 kids, and just the luck of the draw you will lose some of them. With 5 kids and the determination and love my parents had for us and mostly for God, you will succeed. I am about to have my third child and if I believed for one second that there was a roll of the dice happening for their salvation I would be scared to death. I would probably stop having kids so that my odds would be better. There are a lot of half hearted Christians I personally know who have one foot in the world and another in the Church. Now some may say that they did everything they could to guide their children to God but seeing their children grow I will know otherwise. None of this is meant in judgment of anyone. It is a loving reminder that we have to KNOW as parents that we will do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. Pray and trust in God to lead the way.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

FAME IS OVERRATED: WE NEED TRUTH BEFORE WE DIE AND MEET GOD

When I think of fame, I think of silly and vain people. The Robert Downey Jr's of the world, today's highest paid actor, are going to die. Fame just vanishes away for the Hollywood star who is dying a lonely death in an apartment or an upscale nursing home. Dean Martin's final days were a dramatic and sad contrast to his glory days of endless martinis and collaborations with the "rat pack". Steve Jobs had billions but they couldn't keep him from dying. Now Jobs' epic rants and obsessive habits paint the picture of someone all too human. John Wayne, lived bigger than life, but now we just know him from a few crackly videos or a short 8mm of him waving from the open door of a passenger plane. Here today, gone tomorrow. We all die and that's the reality. Death is the equalizer showing in the end we are really just humans. Tiny creatures in a vast universe. The glory of today can quickly become the disastrous head on collision story of tomorrow. The obituary has not rich and poor section. Everyone is the same and mostly forgotten in just a short while.

The Bible says and I believe with complete certainty that God is watching our lives and every soul has a personal face to face with Him in their future. "It is appointed for man to die and then comes the judgment". Heb. 9:27. Death and judgment are the sober and ominous reality we must face right now - we may not have tomorrow. Yet most people are living each day, passing their time away, as if their lives and souls were no more important than the next carnal pursuit. The clock is ticking away our time, reminding us that death and judgment are ahead. With each rising and setting of the sun, we should know that our time will come to an end. 

"So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
We may never reach the heights of wealth and fame that some do, but it doesn't keep us from living through them. The awards shows for best actor, best singer, best news scoop, best human interest story, and best this or that, are a weekly event. And what do we sheep do but turn on the television and give rapt attention to who won and what was said in the acceptance speech. We number our days by filling them with completely meaningless things.

Truth is not overrated. God's Truth is eternal. Truth is the food for the soul which Jesus says we should eat every word of. Where man's fame is the fiction, Truth is the fact. To speak God's Truth to others and to live God's Truth is to transport our lives above the silly and meaningless things of this life. Fame bows on its knees before Truth. One is straw and the other is gold. If we number our days, we care less about the straw and seek daily to be enriched by the gold. As I look about me and see the faces of men and women, I think about their souls and wonder how they are going to fare in that face to face with the Almighty.

Robert Downey, Jr. is an entertainer dressed up in a plastic suit in front of a video camera. Rich today, but gone tomorrow. His life is important to God, but is God important to Robert Downey, Jr.? The same should be asked about each of us. Do we truly understand that what is important is being ready for tomorrow? Is God's Truth important to us today? Number your days because they are few, and then comes the judgment.

God bless you. Dan

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FO-MIRACLES, MIRACLES, AND MIRACLE MIRACLES

The miracles Jesus performed were amazing, "notable" miracles. They weren't the normal, every day "miracles" that charismatics point to and say happen all the time. So since these modern "Christians" insist on calling every work of God a miracle, then I'm going to start calling the miracles of Jesus the "miracle miracles". Like this: "that walking on water was a miracle miracle." "And the feeding of five thousand with a few fishes was some amazing miracle miracle." This idea I have will help people see there is a difference between God's provisional works he does behind the scenes - which "Christians" insist on calling "miracles" - and the true miracles, the "miracle miracles" of the Bible. Also, another idea I have is for a third category of miracles. Besides the "miracle miracles" we read about in the Bible, and besides the plain ole "miracles" that are not "miracles" in the Biblical sense but are more properly recognized as the work of God by providence in answering prayers and such, I offer a third category I will dub "fo-miracles" that charismatics perform when they gather together. What does "fo" mean? It's like when someone says, "what are you doing that 'fo'?" So it's just a "fo-miracle". Get it? So now we, who strive to speak the Bible, can accommodate the people who sometimes are confused about miracles by offering three categories of miracles. The last will be the "fo" type miracles that don't work in hospitals, mortuaries, or on the streets where people are sick. The next is what are often termed "miracles", which are not miracles in the Biblical sense, but they might still be the works of God which we can only by faith attribute to the hand of God. And the first type is the "miracle miracles" which are the true miracles that we see Jesus performed, Peter and Paul too. The resurrection of Christ is the "miracle miracle" (Don't criticize, I'm just trying to help people to distinguish). The creation of the world was a "miracle miracle'. The turning of water to wine was a "miracle miracle". I hope this helps. So remember and be sure to distinguish between the Miracle Miracles (in the Bible), the Miracles (just everyday stuff God does in our lives, and the Fo-Miracles.
SERIOUSLY, EVERY WORK OF GOD IS NOT A MIRACLE.
Though we confess that Almighty God works in diverse ways, all that He does is not what the Scriptures refer to as a miracle. The turning of water to wine was called the first of Jesus' miracles. This was the work of the Father through the Son (Heb 2:4). Let's learn to distinguish between God's everyday works and the miracles in the Bible. The miracles of Jesus do not to diminish the other acts of Christ. Everything He did was remarkable and praiseworthy, but everything He did was not a miracle. Was God working prior to the first miracle? Yes. Was God answering prayers prior to this first miracle? Yes, but not in ways that are notable miracles. If you are going to ignore this simple truth and continue to call EVERYTHING a miracle, then please accept my suggestion and begin calling the miracles recorded in the Bible as "miracle miracles".
I hope this is helpful. Sincerely I do. Dan

TO FAST OR NOT TO FAST

We know by a casual reading of Scripture that fasting, intentional abstaining from eating for a period of time, was part the spiritual life.
To correct the misuse of fasting where men did it to draw attention to themselves by flaunting their piety, Jesus said, "16 Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you", Mt 6:16ff.
I take note of the fact that Jesus did not say, "If you fast", but He said, "Whenever you fast", which implies to me that pious people are going to fast. Just as there's no question that pious people are going to give and pray, similarly are people of faith going to fast.
When to fast is not set by others. It's personal and depends on the circumstances. It says that the disciples of John the Baptist approached Jesus asking Him, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” Mt 9:14. Jesus' answer shows that that the circumstances have to be right for fasting. Just as it's not right for a funeral dirge to be played at a wedding, just so is it not proper, according to Jesus, for His disciples to be fasting at that present time. Later they would fast.
"But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast", Mt 9:15b.
The circumstances would determine the time for fasting. When the judgment of God was coming and there was only a little time for gaining His favor, God said for the people to fast. Joel 2 is talking about God's judgment coming upon Israel and holds out a promise that the favor of the Lord may still be won.
"12 “Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;
13 And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil."
The "formula" of fasting and rending the garments is seen in other places as well. In Nineveh, as the people responded to the preaching of Jonah they turned from sin with fasting, Jonah 3:5; cf Joel 1:14; Ps 35:13.
During times of repentance it would be a good time to withhold from feasting. Coinciding with the prayers of repentance, it seems appropriate that the repentant sinner not think of eating as part of the devotion, Acts 9:9. During times of change or when wisdom from the Lord is sought after, it would be a good time for fasting. When Paul and Barnabas appointed Elders in the congregations, they did so with prayer and fasting, Acts 13:3. And during a time of mourning, as when the disciples would not have their Lord when He was crucified, this was the time Jesus said His disciples would fast. So during times of repentance, seeking wisdom, and mourning there are examples of disciples fasting. This would suggest there are many opportunities for fasting in the life of a godly person.
When to fast is a matter of personal choice. Kings or Elders may "proclaim a fast to the Lord", but it's a matter of personal choice as is any act of devotion to God. When you fast, make sure it is not done for vain glory. Let fasting, when you decide to do it, be part of the sincere drawing near to God.
As an aside, fasting can also be done for non-religious reasons. As a practical matter, for every buffet line we walk through there needs to be balance which means a time of pushing away from the plate.

DON'T KEEP PREACHING TO A DOG OR PIG

Jesus said, "Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Mt 7:6.
We have heard the stories of a the pack of wild dogs attacking a child or woman until they are dead and unrecognizable. I also recall hearing of wild pigs in east Texas who will attack and the hunter had better have a tree to climb or his fate could be the same.
One great pearl is forgiveness. A repentant person is to be forgiven just as Christ has forgiven the Christian. But a dog or pig will treat your "forgiveness" with the same contempt they give to the blessed Gospel of Jesus. Go ahead and try it if you wish. The man has just smacked your wife across the face. Say to him, "I forgive you." Go ahead. If you believe that forgiveness from God and forgiveness He expects you to give to others is UNCONDITION and WITHOUT ANY CONDITIONAL OF REPENTANCE, Go ahead and tell the dog or pig, "I forgive you." That's not what Jesus meant for you to do when He said to forgive.
In the study and discussion on the topic of forgiveness, almost always what is left out is what Jesus said, “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him", Lk 17:3. The way Jesus' teaching on forgiveness is portrayed is, "If a brother sins against you, forgive him." But all of Jesus' words are important. Jesus said to "Beware!". This is serious stuff. This is dangerous and scary business. It is the cowards path to just "forgive" someone when you haven't approached them and when that person hasn't repented.
"But Dan, if you don't forgive that person's trespass it will torture and control you all of your life." Bologna! Only if you let it. You mean to tell me that you can't move on in life and live for God unless and until every injustice against you has been resolved? I say suck it up. Get up, get dressed, and get out there in the world and live for God. An injustice by an unrepentant person will control you only to the degree you let it. I don't buy the premise and I certainly do not accept the perversion of Jesus' teaching. To forgive an unrepentant person is to act different that God. To forgive the unrepentant is like giving pearls to dogs and pigs who will tear you to pieces.
The ungodly person doesn't get the pearls of the Gospel. The ungodly person is handled the way Jesus said to. "Shake the dust from your feet" and move to the next person or town. The dog or pig doesn't get your pearls. To ignore Jesus' words is to foolishly go where you are not to go.
I say this in love. Sincerely, Dan

BOUNDARIES ARE VERY REAL - SO ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF CROSSING THEM. - Dan Mayfield

Let's face it, life has boundaries. There are always factions in the world and society that divide over where the boundaries should be, but all people agree there are boundaries.
The problem Christians are facing have to do with the changing world into a secular society that's become disconnected from traditional biblical values. What is wrong in the Bible is right in the secular society. This is not to say there aren't areas of agreement between secular society and Christianity, but there are very big differences that have become flash points of disagreement.
I like reading Malcolm Muggeridge who narrowed the difference between secular and Christian society in the following paragraph from goodreads.com:
"If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.”
― Malcolm Muggeridge"
Muggeridge believed correctly that once a society turns from God, as if God were dead, then society will turn to something else as guide. We see in our secular society this very thing. There is the lack of morals and ethics that's ruining business. Power and or Sex become the driving forces and there are no boundaries. The pursuit of the Almighty Dollar is the religion and there's no boundary.
When I say there is no boundary in the pursuits of secular society, that's not exactly true. The secular world acts as if there were none, but secular society keeps running up against God. God has ordained that actions have consequences. If the secularists were correct that there is no God, then there would be no consequences either. But God has not freed secular man from the consequences of his actions. If he acts unfaithfully, the secular world, against all that it claims to be true, begins imposing the moral standards it claims do not exist. On one hand the secular society says "everything goes", but everything doesn't go, everything doesn't work, and the secularist gets slapped back to reality that everything is not OK and life has boundaries. These mysterious, inexplicable, and pervasive laws remain in place. The secular society swims against the current of God's will. Does it make them wake up and admit their fault? Mostly not. But only because their lusts for the immediate pleasures lead them to bargain away their future. In hope against hope, they preach their secular, values which are destructive to self, family, home, and society. As the home collapses, so the society collapses. It's a collapse that's predicted by God as you cannot sow evil, the unprincipled "anything goes" lifestyle, and still get good.
God is not mocked, says Paul to the Galatians. Men can act all they want as if there are no boundaries. Or society can redraw the boundaries to encompass and include their latest pursuits of power and passion. But there are God's boundaries remaining and until secular society humbles itself to admit them, they will continue to bang their heads against the wall and will never admit why they are bruised.

LIBERALLY AND CHEERFULLY GIVE GOD WHAT IS HIS

There was an instance where the Sadducees attempted to trap Jesus into speaking sedition against the Roman government. They hoped He would speak some revolutionary or zealot language which could be used as an excuse for criminal charges. But Jesus said what stunned and silenced them. He said, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”, Mt 22:21.
From Jesus' words I would like to ask every thoughtful Christian if they are giving to God what is God's? We Christians give to the government. We give to the banker, to the grocer, to the county assessor, and to whomever else is owed. But do we give to God what is God's?
The statement by Jesus supposes that we are in possession of something that is not ours and we are to give it to Him. There are things we have that belong to God and Christians must give to Him. We possess time, talents, and money. Some of our time is to be given to God because it is God's time. Some of our talents are to be utilized for the work of God because they are God's talents on loan to us. And from the money we possess, some is to be given to God because it is God's.
Money. The work of spreading the Gospel is done by mouth and by traveling feet. God says, "The laborer is worthy of his wages", Lk 10:7; 1 Tim 5:18. Jesus and Paul are telling that God's Evangelizers are to be supported by the church. The work of Missionaries is to be supported by Christians. This support is God's money that Christians are in possession of. "Give to God what is God's." Works of benevolence to feed the poor, to help widows indeed, and etc, are funded by Christians who have in their possession what is God's. So "what is God's give to God."
Malachi asks, "Will a man rob God?" The people asked, "How have we robbed God?" The reply is, "in tithes and offerings.", Mal. 3:8. A non-spiritual person clings to his every dollar and uses it all on himself. He or she does not see what belongs to God. But be sure that everything is God's and He wants that you let some of it come back to further His work. Giving is a matter of faith and do you have the faith to give to God what is God's? You and God alone know if you have kept back from giving what is His.
Giving is a grace. Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive", Acts 20:35. The Christian that gives without cheerfulness and without liberality does not believe Jesus. Paul said, "God loves a cheerful giver." Do you give to God what is His with cheerfulness and liberality? If you cling to what is God's, it will cling to you. But if by faith you give to God what is His, you will be blessed many ways.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PRIDE OR HUMILITY

Where in the Bible is it said to "take pride in your work"?
Holman's Bible Dictionary, "Pride".
Undue confidence in and attention to one's own skills, accomplishments, state, possessions, or position. Pride is easier to recognize than to define, easier to recognize in others than in oneself. Many biblical words describe this concept, each with its own emphasis. Some of the synonyms for pride include arrogance, presumption, conceit, self-satisfaction, boasting, and high-mindedness. It is the opposite of humility, the proper attitude one should have in relation to God. Pride is rebellion against God because it attributes to self the honor and glory due to God alone. Proud persons do not think it necessary to ask forgiveness because they do not admit their sinful condition. This attitude toward God finds expression in one's attitude toward others, often causing people to have a low estimate of the ability and worth of others and therefore to treat them with either contempt or cruelty. Some have considered pride to be the root and essence of sin. Others consider it to be sin in its final form. In either case, it is a grievous sin. “Boasting” can be committed only in the presence of other persons (1 John 2:16; James 4:16 ). “Haughtiness” or “arrogance” measures self as above others (Mark 7:23; Luke 1:51; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2;James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 ). This word refers primarily to the attitude of one's heart. 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:4; and 2 Timothy 3:4 use a word literally meaning “to wrap in smoke.” It emphasizes the plight of the one who has been blinded by personal pride.
Who do we work for and what is our motivation? Mt 5:16; Eph 6:7
Pride is deadly, Pro. 16:18; King David of Israel got proud and it did great harm; King Herod got proud and God killed him, Acts 12:21.
Warnings against pride, Mt 23:12; James 4:6,7; 1 Pt 5:5,6
The humble mind towards self and others, Rom 12:3,16
Moses was the meekest man on earth, Numbers 12:3 "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth."; See also Matthew 5:3ff
Where is the passage of Scripture that says, "Blessed are the proud, who take pride in the works of their hands, who take pride in themselves"? Malachi 3:15 gives a warning to those who called the prideful blessed. It's just the opposite.
If you don't have God and nothing to hope in, then pride in yourself is all you have. "10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun." Eccl 2:10,11
Boasting not in self, but in God, Jeremiah 9:23; Gal. 6:14
So is there any occasion for a Christian to "take pride" in anything he's done? A Christian explained it this way:
"What most people MEAN when they say, "Take pride in your work," is not that someone ought to become prideful about their work, nor are they encouraging someone to become competitive in nature. They simply mean, "Make doing your best a matter of personal integrity so that you may know with a peaceful confidence you did your work as well as you possibly could, and carry a clear conscience in the matter." THAT, is most certainly a biblical doctrine put into practice: '23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.'" Col. 3:23,24"
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Link  https://docs.google.com/document/d/15AmdOBVtMC0_yu_3-nNtal8HNP-tJjnJUpgQwbhK1_U/edit?usp=sharing

Monday, July 14, 2014

CONSERVATIVE IN ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

CONSERVATIVE IN ALL YOUR LIFE, Dan Mayfield 

Conservatism carries the idea of preserving the past traditions. The conservative approach to the Bible is to preserve the meaning, intent, and spirit of the original text just as God meant it. 

Liberalism is about change. The liberal approach to the Scriptures tends to lead to new interpretations and teachings that conform to external pressures coming from society or from fleshly desires.

My description of conservative and liberal is not well received by a liberal Christian because he believes it is he who is being faithful to the Word, not the conservative. This is a case of confusion.  It's a case of the legal lawyer calling the other guy a lawyer. The lawyer knows the letter of the law. A conservative lawyer, ideally, strives to apply the "letter of the law".  But a liberal lawyer has a different goal where the "letter of the law" becomes the "spirit of the law". A conservative sees no legality in what is not written but only in what is written. The liberal lawyer sees the holes and loopholes, the areas of silence, as a legal opening for a given activity. When someone is accused in a derogatory sense to be a "lawyer", it is not the liberal who is guilty of this because his manner is to wrestle from the inspired word the approval he has desired.  

The Bible says not to associate with people who are given to change, Pro. 24:21. When the authority of God is under attack, it's coming from a liberal. They say, "The meaning of the Bible depends on the time in which it is read." They say, "That was written to a first century audience and doesn't apply to a better educated 21st century audience." They say, "God is love and that trumps all law." They say, "Most important to God is a person's happiness and so He wouldn't expect me to be unhappy."

With the logic of the Liberal mind, the rich young ruler would not have walked away unhappy. With the logic of the Liberal, there would never be said a discouraging word, such as, "Unless you repent you will likewise perish." With the logic of the Liberal, there would be no painful choices. "Stay in that condition in which you were called", misapplied by the Liberal, means to homosexuals to stay in the homosexual relationship you were found in. It means to the thrice married man to stay in the adulterous marriage that you were called in.

The Liberal mind cannot explain the hard sayings of Jesus Christ. Why is it so hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? Today it's not hard because the Liberal logic doesn't call him to repent. Today it's not hard for the people who are engaged in sexual immorality to be Christian. The sexual immorality is simply not addressed. Easy peezy!

The Bible is very clear that the only sexual relationship that's acceptable to God is in the "marriage bed". But today the "marriage bed" is the "partner bed" or the "girlfriend and boyfriend bed" or the "gay and lesbian bed".

As the world changes, it moves further and further from the teachings and values of God. That equates into a harder life for Christians who refuse to compromise and change.

What about politics? Politics are a reflection of the values held by a society. A society that values life will strongly punish those who take life. "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man." Genesis 9:6.

So what does it tell you that the average time spent in a Minnesota prison for murdering someone is about 12 years? It says the dead man's life was worth about 12 years. The human life is devalued. What does it tell you that an abortion cost about $500? It says that the baby in the womb is worth about the price of a cheap TV at Wal-Mart.

A man's politics can't be divorced from his faith. If the man votes, he's reflecting his faith in some way. He's voting his personal desires or he is voting the righteousness of God. "But Dan, church and state, there's a separation of church and state!" That's just a distraction. When the state indoctrinates your children to not believe in God, how is that a separation of church and state? When the state tells a photographer or a cake baker he must act contrary to his conscience, how is that separation of church and state!

Certainly, God wants Christians to be good, law-abiding citizens, 1 Pt 2:13ff; Rom 13:1ff. And we need to be focused on preaching the Gospel regardless of what the state says to the contrary. So let's not be distracted.

When a President, Democrat or Republican, starts talking religion, then his errors must be rebutted. When George Bush said Islam is a great religion and that Muslims serve the same God as Christians, the old "just another path to the same God" argument, I was offended and said so. And when Pres. Obama said in 2013 that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, I took exception and preached against the lie he told.

Conservatism in your life means that your beliefs, values, and practices are going to intersect with the world and there's no way to avoid it. Sometimes you will have to turn the other cheek. You will have to say, "we must obey God rather than men." The intersection between the conservative who clings to the Bible is going to intersect and clash with the Liberal who wants everything changed including the Christian and his family.
Remember the Proverb: do not associate with those who are given to change.

DO WE BELIEVE ALL THAT JESUS SAID?

DO WE BELIEVE IN JESUS AND ALL THAT HE SAID? Do we believe there's more than we can see? Do we believe in the spiritual? There is the spiritual world, which most all people in one way or another readily admits does exist. To seek the unseen and worship what is greater than man is the propensity of all cultures in all times. To think spiritually and to worship is not something only the minority of people do. The search for the spiritual meaning of life is pervasive and everywhere.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear
State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.
- Steve Turner

There is the carnal world that believes there's nothing beyond death. This carnal world recoils at the thought of God. Thus they are left with nothing to work with but mechanistic processes - yet unknown - to explain where life came from and to derive from it some meaning for their lives. They believe they are the product of chance and time. Ordered life and chaotic destruction are equal in a world where chance is God. There's no right or wrong; there just is.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL? Now being spiritual means believing in the unseen. Believing in the unseen means believing in more than the physical. Being spiritual means rejecting the naturalistic philosophies of godless men. Being spiritual means accepting that we are not our own creators. Being spiritual means believing in something or someone greater than ourselves. Being spiritual means acknowledging that life has meaning, order, and rules to live by. Being spiritual forever pits one against the natural and carnal world. There is no reconciling the two.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST? To believe in Jesus Christ is to believe in His ministry to save the sinful world and give sinners the victory of eternal life. Now there are many who say that they are Christian but they do not believe everything that Jesus said. They are spiritual but they stop short of accepting all that Jesus said?

WHY DID JESUS COME TO EARTH? Why did God send His Son to earth? Why a cross and what is the meaning and implication of Gospel?

- Is Jesus the only way to heaven and what of those who reject Jesus? Jn 14:6
- Must we deny ourselves and carry our crosses and what of those who don't? Mt 16:24
- Does sin, a single sin and not just an aggregate life of sin, separate man from God and earn him eternal separation from God? Gen 3:3; Rom. 6:23.

Most spiritual people who say they believe in Jesus agree in general on the teachings of Jesus Christ. But they falter often when it comes to embracing the morals or values taught by Jesus. They get shaky and wobbly when asked about sin and the consequence of sin. This is not a true belief in Jesus.

IS HELL REALLY THE CONSEQUENCE OF SIN? Each and every person has to decide if he believes that sin brings spiritual death and eternal separation from God.

- Are people going to hell for sins?
- Read: Gal. 5:19-21; Romans 1:28-32; Eph. 5:5; 1 Tim 1:8-11.
- Is sex outside of marriage a sin and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is it a sin for a man to have sex with a man or with a child and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is stealing a sin and what is God's punishment for sin?
- Is putting the pursuit of money ahead of worshiping God a sin and what is the punishment from God for sin?
- Is vain worship sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is adding to the Bible a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is teaching a little bit different than the Bible a sin and what is the punishment for the sin?
- Is skipping worship a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is being cowardly a sin and what is the punishment for sin?
- Is a lack of faith a sin and what is the punishment for sin?

We live in a world that merrily marches through the hours, days, and years with nothing to look forward to but hours of entertainment on the television and a multitude of carnal pursuits with which to satisfy itself. There are no rules except the rules set ungodly and powerful people who live by no rules. There are no boundaries. The godless will protest and say, "Not true, we believe it's wrong to do what hurts others." Then they go about their business of hurting others who do not believe like them. The only sin in secular society is the pointing out of what is sin. In a fully secularized society, a society that has lost all spiritual meaning, all moralizing must be destroyed and stopped. Secularization of society is not completed until it is has destroyed the last voice that whispers the name of God.

Perhaps the most visible sign that a society is nearing its own collapse and destruction is when it rationalizes the destruction of itself. The meaningless nothingness leads to a despair that no medication can cover. The home is destroyed in our midst. The marriage is in shambles. The children fend for themselves in blended families that have become the norm. Millions of children grow up without a father! And most heinous of all is the mutilation of the innocent life inside the woman's womb. It must be killed. To have life with no hindrances abortion is necessary. To have free sex without the "punishment of a baby" (Barack Obama) there must be abortion. It's not possible for society to keep its sanity once it has convinced itself such a thing is normal and amoral. When such a heinous act is accepted as the norm, the society and culture has broken its compass. It can no longer moralize. It can no longer judge others. Once a society has blinded itself to the truth of a heart being stopped and a spinal column being cut, all the rest of the living had better watch out because next it will be the aged or infirmed who are in the way.

JESUS CHRIST BRINGS SANITY BACK TO OUR LIVES. Jesus brings truth and He shows us what is true, Jn 14:6. Jesus brings order to a crazy and chaotic world. Jesus resets the compass so that man knows what is right and wrong. Jesus shows us what is right as He speaks what the Father Creator has told Him, Jn 14:10. Jesus says very clearly that judgment is coming and that the majority of people are going to hell, Mt 7:13,14. Do we believe Jesus or do we believe some iteration of the opposite? We either accept Jesus and all that He said or else we blindly venture into a vast unknown that ends in oblivion.

I choose to believe in Jesus and in all of His teachings. With love for souls and for the Truth of Jesus Christ, I speak all of these things.
HERE IS HOW PERVERSION CREEPS INTO THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL TEACHINGS OF THE GOSPEL

"Forgiveness is the economy of the heart....forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits" - Hannah Moore

This is a common message about forgiveness.  It's part of the human theology that convinces people they need to "forgive" others unconditionally.

First, where does it say in the Bible that God forgives "unconditionally"?  God's forgiveness is offered universally to all sinners, but receiving that forgiveness comes by meeting God's conditions including repentance.  So it's a false proposition being offered that is not rooted in truth.

Secondly, this so-called "forgiveness" which is quoted above is all about me, me, me. This "forgiveness" of Hannah Moore is all about saving her heart; it's all about sparing one's self of anger; it's about saving cost and wasting the spirit.  This is not biblical forgiveness. 

Biblical forgiveness is about sacrifice. It's about sparing someone else. It's about giving to someone else what they don't deserve. The focus of this phony "forgiveness" that's spouted out ad nauseam is not about giving someone else the most important thing they need. This phony forgiveness is just more of the modern "me, me, me". 

"But Dan, forgiveness is about me because Jesus says, 'But if you don't forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.' Mk 11:26."

Again, the real intent of the Lord is completely missed and the message of "me, me, me" gets inserted.  We are not forgiving so that God will forgive us. We are to be forgiving because we want to be like God. God forgives the vilest of sinners. We forgive not because it will make us feel better and spare us a lifetime of anger. We forgive because we have the heart of grace that God has for us.  Forgiveness is hard, not easy.

The phony forgiveness that's expressed in the quote above is phony because it  gives nothing to the other person. Remember, it's all about "me, me, me". There needs to be no reconciliation. And how could there be true reconciliation until the trespasser repents and ask for forgiveness? 

The distorted "forgiveness" of today ignores some very important words of Christ.  Jesus said, "3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, REBUKE HIM; AND IF HE REPENTS, forgive him. 4 “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Lk 17:3,4. In caps I have put the 2 parts in the path to forgiveness that are mostly left out.  To forgive is not an "economy" of anything. It is costly. It takes courage. To do less than give the trespasser a rebuke is doing no good for the trespasser whose soul is in jeopardy.  It's a cowardly thing as well.

Here is how people think. "I have been trespassed against. What shall I do? Well I could go and confront him and give him a rebuke? Or I could just forgive him." 

"Forgiving" without confronting and when there is no repentance is not what Jesus does with us and it is not what Jesus said for us to do. This is a weak approach to sin that doesn't work anywhere. An employer doesn't ignore insubordination lest it infect the entire enterprise. The church can't gloss over and ignore sin lest the disease spread and infect everyone. In a family there must be responsibility and accountability or else there will be no peace and harmony.  When there are trespasses, to jump to the forgiving part of God's plan of grace, we first need to point out sin.  Then, and only then, must we forgive if the person repents.  This is what God expects for sinners. And we are being like God when we have the courage to rebuke, to hold the person accountable, and then have the grace to forgive.

When we follow Jesus' plan, real good happens. Friendships are restored. Relationships are restored and healed.  This is God's plan. 

Don't listen to a false message about forgiveness being an "economy" of anything. God's forgiveness through His Son wasn't about "economy". It cost God His beloved Son.  When you forgive, go the hard and courageous path.

Honest and sincere Christians struggle with this not because it's unbiblical but because they have been convinced to think that forgiveness is to be given unconditionally. They failed to examine the premise before accepting the conclusion. A sincere person asked me, "So a person is to go unforgiven?"  My answer is, hey, you can say you have forgiven anyone you like.  But are they really forgiven? If a man has sinned against you, has he not also sinned against God? If you forgive the unrepentant person, has God? Does God forgive the unrepentant?

For Men to delve into the serious business of forgiving others who do not intend to change is just playing pretend.  It's not real and not at all like the forgiveness of God.  Can we be serious and forgive like God does? Yes and that's what God desires.  But it is not for the unloving or cowardly.  See Matthew 18:15ff. The goal there is forgiveness and reconciliation.  But what modern religious teachers are saying to do is just recognize your brother is sinning and forgive him. ... That's all.  You did your part, but you didn't did you? This is serious business.  It's about loving the sinners soul.  It's about rescuing and covering a multitude of sins, Jas 5:19,20.

I pray this is helpful. Christians should be as forgiving as God. Christians should forgive when God forgives. But Christians should not forgive who God does not forgive. I say this in love. Sincerely, Dan

Monday, July 07, 2014

AS THE WORLD GOES, SO GOES THE CHURCH: FOLLOWING THE WORLD

"Tell me what the world is saying today and I'll tell you what the church is saying in seven years" - Francis Schaeffer

Listen to the latest new and normal thing psychologist are saying and the top churches will be right on board in seven years. 

The culture has elevated entertainment to be everything. Now any "in" church has to have an entertainer on a stage. He plays his music and the congregation applauds, just like entertainment.  Whatever "science" says Is normal will be preached in these churches in seven years. They preach just like "science" says is correct.

Seven years from now the churches will be condoning recreational use of marijuana. And why not? After "the Bible doesn't say you can't. "

Bacon? I wouldn't be surprised if these entertainment driven churches aren't handing out bacon in seven years.

Me? I'm not changing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

TARES: WHO OR WHAT ARE THEY?

"24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” - Mt 13
This is a parable about good versus bad seed. One seed produced good fruit, i.e. wheat, and one has no fruit. This second seed is a counterfeit as it looks like the plant from the good seed, but there's no wheat or good fruit. This is the work of Satan who disguises himself asn angel of light in the deceitful work to fool men, 2 Cor. 11:14,15. Satan is the father of lies and is the author of confusion, Jn 8:44; 1 Cor. 14:33.  Many have been misled by the vain doctrines of demons and by the false gospels they tell.

People must wonder what are the tares?  Are they false teachers in the church? This can't be. A counterfeit is designed to look like the real thing. The counterfeit is not the church and it's not an erring christian in the church.  Why?  It's simple. Because Jesus said to leave them alone and allow them to grow, v.30.  To uproot the tares would also do harm to the wheat.  If the tares were in the church, we know that discipline must be exercised so that the church is not brought down by the influence. Church discipline would root out anything like a tare in the church.  So Jesus must be talking about something that's very similar to the church but is itself outside of the church. The tares are outside the church but similar enough to fool many people.

Question:  What or Who do you believe are the tares? _____________________

Thursday, June 26, 2014

LIFE THROUGH DEATH

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"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." Jn 12:24
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With the death of Jesus Christ comes life for the many. Our eternal life is only possible because of the death of Jesus on the cross.

Life through death is a paradox. The carnal atheist is not interested in dying. To him death is the end and there's no fruit for him afterward. So while the ungodly person sees life through death, as in Jesus' example, still he rejects the spiritual application.
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Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Mt 16:24
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Jesus teaches us that we must die to ourselves. It means we must die to sin. If we are going to bear fruit of spiritual nature, we must turn from self and begin doing God's will. Turn from sin. Tell Satan to take a hike when you are tempted to sin with the eyes. Draw near to God through Christ. Keep your eyes on Him and run the race with endurance. Buffet the body and make it your slave. Practice self control. Yield to God in all your ways. Walk and live and are led by the spirit, you will have the fruit of the Spirit in your life.

Is the principle of life through death still a paradox to you? Just look at Jesus and learn.

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