What could possibly be strikingly familiar between the visit of the wise men to Jerusalem and Bethlehem 2000 years ago and the visit of Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington DC last Week?
Declaration of War
Declaration of War!
This week, when they slaughtered 21 Egyptian Christians, ISIS declared war on “the people of the cross.” ISIS is in the Middle East, in Australia, in Europe, in Africa, and in North America. The church burning and vandalization in Florida this week was not an isolated event, it was part of ISIS’ war on Christians. ISIS will generate much fear, but they will not win the war…because the war is already won.
The offended Creator declared war on Satan and sin in Genesis 3. God the Son was given a human body to become God the Father’s Sin Sacrifice (Heb 10:1-7, John 1:29). Jesus did as He was sent to do (John 19:30). Now He is at the right hand of the Father waiting for His enemies to be put under His feet (Heb 10:11-13). Among those enemies are the enemies of His Cross/sacrifice (Phil 3:18-19).
ISIS is purely demonic. Soon the devil and all those who worship him will be under the feet of Jesus Christ. So fear not, little flock! Greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world (the prince of this world). Keep your “citizenship papers” handy (Phil 3:20)!
Where is the outcry?
The world was justifiably outraged by the murders at Charlie Hebdo by the hands of Muslim radicals. The world was justifiably outraged and horrified by the burning alive of the Muslim Jordanian pilot at the hands of Muslim animals (there are more such burnings coming). The world has been justifiably outraged by the barbaric beheadings of captives by those same Muslim animals (there will be more coming). This nation is outraged by the murder of three Muslims in North Carolina, demanding the politically-charged classification of “hate crime” before the facts are even known.
Yet over the weekend the same Muslim animals burning people alive and cutting people’s heads off cut the heads off of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. Where is the outcry? The only voice raised was that of Egypt. Why the deafening silence from the rest of the world? Because the world does not care if Christians are butchered.
That is blatantly unjust…but not surprising.
Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.” (John 15:18-21).
No one is hated more in the world than Jesus Christ. No greater injustice has been rendered in the world than that on Jesus Christ. Next on the world’s most hated list are those who carry His name and follow Him. His followers are in this world but not of this world; this world is not our home, we are strangers just passing through and looking forward to going home into the kingdom wherein lies our citizenship.
The Holy Spirit comforts us with these words:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11)
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)
“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-58)
So, my brothers and sisters who carry the name of Jesus Christ and follower Him wherever He leads us, do not look at the injustice and evil cruelty of this world. Bless those who persecute you. Love your enemies. Our Lord so instructed and gave us the greatest example of such Love. This world is as bad as it gets for us….but it is as good as it gets for those who hate Jesus Christ. He gets the last word.
God cannot use me
The next time you feel like the Lord cannot use you, just remember…
Noah got drunk. Abraham was too old. Jacob was a schemer. Joseph was abused. Gideon was afraid. Samson was a womanizer. Rahab was a prostitute. Jeremiah and Timothy were too young. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Elijah was suicidal. Jonah was a run away. Naomi was a widow. Job went bankrupt. Mary Magdalene was demon-possessed. The Samaritan woman was a multiple divorcee. Martha was a worrywart. Peter denied Jesus. Saul of Tarsus was a religious fanatic. Paul was a repeat offender, a hopeful addict (1 Cor 16:15). Lazarus was dead.
We all fall short of the glory of God. But with God nothing shall be impossible. So no more excuses. God can use you! He wants to use you! He will give you His power to do it! Call on the name of Jesus Christ the Lord and receive the baptism of the power of God from on high.
Is the Bible getting old?
(Photo posted on the Facebook page Finish Well)
Is the Bible is getting old to you? Are you bored with the Bible? If so, the fault is yours, not the Bible’s.
The Bible is alive, fresh every single day, and contemporary wisdom in every circumstance. Your heart is the problem, your heart is that which has gone stagnant. It is time to assess your walk with Jesus; you need to repent before the God of the Bible.
(Photo posted on Facebook page Finish Well)
An impulse is a sudden idea or feeling that is acted upon without any further thought, as the act of the young man in the photo. Impulsive people are rash and hasty…and often remorseful because our volatile impulses usually do not end well. (I am speaking from experience!)
A life governed by impulses and emotions is a wild roller coaster ride with many twists and turns, steep climbs, and plummeting falls. The Word of God tells us that the hasty person is foolish (Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 29:20, Proverbs 21:5, Ecclesiastes 7:9). We are to be governed by the steady and unchanging Word of God (Psalm 119:9, 105). That means we must deny our Self, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24-27).
Denying Self is not very popular these days. Many churches do not preach and teach their congregations to deny Self, fearing they might offend someone, but rather strive to indulge Self with “positive” motivational speeches. Like emotional impulses, it is not going to end well for those who speak such things and those who blindly follow them (Isaiah 56:10-12, Ezekiel 34:1-10, James 3:1, Matthew 15:1-14).
If your church is not preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified (2 Corinthians 2:1-5), you need to flee to a Bible-teaching church before the wheels come off.
(Photo posted on Facebook page “Last Call”)
Self-help isn’t help. If I need help, why would I ask myself? If I need more than I can do, why would I ask myself for more than I can do? People say (God does not and never did), “God helps those who help themselves.” If I can help myself, why do I need God’s help? Self-help isn’t help, it is a vicious circle and it is a lie.
Help takes two persons, both 1) in agreement that help is needed and 2) willing to humble themselves. One person must humble himself to be willing to be helped and another person must humble himself to be willing to help. The help received is as good as the ability of the giver of help.
In a fast and furious world that quickly overwhelms us who are finite, I am thankful that the Infinite God is willing to humble Himself to help me! Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
Everybody needs help. God knows we need help. God wants to help. I know I need help. I have humbled myself to ask for God’s help. Do you know you need help? Will you humble yourself to ask for God’s help? Will you depend on yourself and get what you can do or depend on the Almighty God and get what He can do? He is able and willing to help me, you, and whoever calls upon Him.
The Unraveling of Western Civilization
The rise of Western Civilization took root during the Renaissance in the 14th – 16th centuries, established its foundation during the Reformation in those same 14th – 16th centuries, and blossomed on the world stage during the Age of Reason in the 16th and 17th centuries. Western Civilization has led the modern world in every aspect of human life – freedom and democracy, capitalism and economic growth, human rights and liberties, scientific and technological innovation and development, etc.
Yet today we are witnessing the unraveling of Western Civilization. The cause is purely spiritual.
The spiritual foundation is cracked. Western Civilization has abandoned the Bible as its moral rudder. The Word of God is openly mocked and despised. The God of the Bible is ignored, neglected, and reviled. That which the Bible calls evil, Western Civilization calls good and celebrates. That which the Bible calls good, Western Civilization calls evil and “intolerant”. Truth is relative. Even within the ranks of Christianity, a denial and dilution of Biblical truth is now the norm. Deception abounds as the God of the Bible is no longer the Authority over Western Civilization and man has assumed the authority. Without a stable moral rudder, Western Civilization is drifting and coming apart at the seams as the attacks against it mount.
Radical Islam is attacking Western Civilization in pursuit of a worldwide caliphate. Political correctness, embraced by multi-culturalists in western democracies to not offend radical Islam, has produced a myopia of reality at the least and a complete blindness to reality at the worst. That reality is the mantra and the well-established history of Islam to infidels (unbelievers in Allah, non-followers of Mohammed): Convert or die by the sword. Muslim extremists carry out this “evangelism” before the eyes of the entire connected world. Muslim moderates decry their extremist brethren, calling for a “revolution” in Islam away from extremism to being “world-friendly.” Yet there cannot be a “revolution” within Islam as long as the Koran is held as truth. The Koran is rife with contradictions and errors, it teaches violence toward any weakness. The revolution Islam needs is the revelation of Jesus Christ.
The god that has replaced the God of the Bible in Western Civilization is money/wealth. (Note: Money = currency = time; wealth = physical assets = power) The “bigger is better” philosophy and the “more, more, more” insatiability of Corporate America has fueled the merger mania that has consolidated so much money/wealth into so few hands. An inherent weakness of “few and big” is systemic collapse if the big corporations/banks fail. Enemies such as China, Russia, Iran, and Islamic terrorists have embarked on financial warfare to destroy the wealth of Western Civilization and secure gains unattainable by the means of conventional warfare.
Given its history of Renaissance, Reformation, and Reason, Western Civilization is ill-equipped to fight these battles upon which its survival depends because such attacks are not rational. The attacks on Western Civilization are ideological; ideology stands apart from reason.
The life-threatening challenges facing Western Civilization are from within and from without. Western Civilization, starting with its leaders, must return to the God of the Bible to survive. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Foundation and the Strength upon which we stand. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Lord of the entire universe. It is high time to humble ourselves before the Living God and to call upon the name of the Lord!
Post-script: Islam will perish (Isaiah 21:16-17; Kedar is the son of Ishmael and the line from whom came Mohammed). Jesus Christ is calling to all Muslims as He is to all in the world, “Come out of her, My people.” (Revelation 18:4). As His witnesses and ambassadors, our role is to love each other (John 13:34-35) and them (Matthew 5:43-38, Matthew 22:36-40), whereby the Father may draw them to the Son (John 6:44). Because Love (1 John 4:7-12) wins!
The Fallacy of Self-Realization
The worldview presented by psychology teaches that the ultimate goal for mankind is self-realization, which means the fulfillment of one’s potential. If a person is self-realized, they are complete.
The worldview presented by the Bible teaches to the contrary of psychology.
a. Man (male and female per Genesis 1:26-27) is never satisfied (Proverbs 27:20, Ecclesiastes 1:1-15)
b. Only God, the Maker of heaven and earth revealed in the Bible, is complete/perfect (Matthew 5:48, Matthew 19:16-17)
c. Man is made complete when he/she lives life in right relationship with the Creator (Genesis 17:1), he/she loves others as does God (Matthew 5:43-48, 1 John 4:7-12), and he/she gives selflessly to others and follows Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:21)
d. God makes man complete (Luke 6:40, John 17:20-23, Colossians 2:9-15)
Every man has a god he/she worships. The god of psychology is man…a god made in the image of man. The God of the Bible is the Almighty, eternal Creator, in Whose image man is made.
Consider the testimony of the two worldviews (in the Bible consider Psalm 17:15, Psalm 22:26, Proverbs 19:23, Ephesians 2:1-10, Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:4-8, Ecclesiates 12:13-14, John 8:23-36). Consider the evidence of the two worldviews – your own life and the lives of the adherents of the two contrasting worldviews.
The testimonies and the evidence reveals that man desperately needs a re-orientation: to be God-centered and others-centered instead of self-centered. John 3:1-21.