-Most people do not want Christ as Lord, they are more interested in only his miracles, blessings, healings, and food pantries without him having any say about how they live. That’s not the real Jesus, that is an idol created just to suit our own desires.-
Motives Are Enough to Display Our Guilt
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
The phrase “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” catches my eye. The majority of people do not care what is right or wrong these days, they only are concerned with the question, “Is it fun?” We see this in our individualistic, do what I want and desire America. People for the most part are self absorbed and care only to do the right things if it benefits them in some way. Hey, “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Godliness and righteousness are not means for illicit personal gain. God desires people to do the right thing even when it hurts. That is deep seated godliness and commitment there!
Psalm 15:1-5 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless,who does what is righteous,who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile personbut honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts,and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Notice, a blameless person “keeps an oath even when it hurts,” as well as, “lends money to the poor without interest.” See, their is no gain in that only the satisfaction of giving love to those in need and honoring God by not breaking one’s word.
Yet our culture thrives off of the opposite. The World loves us only when it is reciprocated, shares when convenient, does right when there is rewards involved.
But, Jesus said this in Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Perfect? Yes you heard right, God’s perfect law requires perfect obedience to him and love for our fellow man and woman. The Old Testament Mosaic law said “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:17-18)
Jesus reiterated in other words, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-22)
“But I’m not perfect! No one’s perfect!” One might say, and that is correct, because even if you could you would go through life and never sin once in an action, the sins of a person’s heart would be enough to send you to hell. As we see above even a wrong motive or an evil attitude or hatred toward someone can buy you a ticket to The Cosmic Courtroom.
As you can see, no one can measure up to such a high standard and we are all guilty as charged before a perfectly holy God. I know Im hosed up myself without God’s pity and mercy.
Does God want to condemn a person? Does his heart rejoice at the idea of sending any soul to an awful place of despair for all of eternity? No!
God is love also, but he cannot compromise his standards and principles, it is impossible for him to just let evil slide. So what does he do? He pours out every ounce of his anger toward our sin on Jesus Christ, nailed to the cross and bearing not just the physical agony of death, but the excruciating separation from God, his Father. Jesus took on death, but hell as well. Hell is God’s complete abandonment and withdrawal from ungodly people. God being the source of all good has withdrawn his complete and entire presence from the unholy.
Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, Why has thou forsaken me?”
Christ has dealt with the sins of the world and every single one of us on the cross, and his offer of forgiveness is only available to those who receive it! God will not force anyone to come to Heaven and spend eternity in his presence. Those who don’t want him will receive exactly what they wish, an eternal and irrevocable existence without God in it.
A Christian who uses the same methods as the world is not much hope for a good impression on those he is trying to win over to Christ. A joyless Christian is no better. Christ followers should give the world something to envy, not something they desperately want to dismiss.
Enough people will do that on their own without our help. There is a time to call out sin, but we must be careful to not go around with angry faces and the same old hammer, pounding on closed doors. Some people will reject the gospel, the greatest gift a man can have, to their loss. We should not be angry at them but feel sorry for them.
Christians are not perfect, some follow Christ a lot better than others but at the heart of the issue I would say most people who like to blame Christians for the problems in the world is because the teachings in the Bible often oppose human agenda and desire. They blame Christians as being intolerant narrow minded unkind hypocritical bigots, even though many organizations, food pantries and charities are of Christian faith. People would be more tolerant of Christianity if it were not intolerant to man’s sinfulness and pride, people now are no better than they were in Christ’s day, they loved his miracles and merciful acts of kindness but not the truth he brought to confront man of his sin. This is not surprising though because Jesus said himself “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.” John 15:20-23 “- this world does not like Jesus for the message of sin and punishment after death. They do not like a message of repentence and turning to follow. People like to be in control. They don’t like Christ or his message but they have no problem with his miracles and free lunches.
John 3:18-20 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
The Constitution prohibits an establishment of religion, not morals. Morals are a part of any good law. Laws protect people from eachother and set safe boundaries. We live in a time where people want to be free from reasonable restrictions and push so hard to legalize a decriminalize behavior that really is not real freedom but just wants, wishes and whims of a generation that doesn’t take no for an answer. There is a huge difference between rights and obsurd wishes.
Some of the shining saints and beloved heroes of faith came from rugged pasts, broken families, and bad track records.
No matter who you are or what your past has been, Christ can give you a good and wonderful future.
-1 Corinthians 1:26-29 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
Todays example is the great king David, often called “a man after my own heart,” by God himself. David started life tending sheep and his older brother’s and own father often overlooked him. But God took an obscure Shepard boy and raised him up to be Israel’s next king after Saul.
There is an all to common myth, that net worth is self worth. Which is totally contrary to what Jesus taught in his life and ministry.
Myth 1.) Lots of money makes people happy-
Truth.) Life is not enhanced by money, and money cannot buy happiness.
According to Jesus, one’s quality of life does not hang on how much they have.
Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Another common myth is
Myth 2.) Having lots of money means my life has been successful.
Truth 2.) only from a worldly human standpoint, you do not have to be rich to be used by God. Being rich and famous is a very poor way to gauge real success.
Luke 16:14-15 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
Often times what God calls success and people do are in stark contrast with eachother.
Myth 3.) Being Rich is sin.
Truth 3.)Some go to the opposite extreme and think money is just pure evil and being wealthy is flat out sin. But the Bible speaks to those who are wealthy as well
Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
It’s no sin to have wealth or material goods but it is sin to trust wealth and fail to help those who are truly in need when we have adequate recourses at our disposal. James 2 says that if we see someone in need and we just wish them well and send them on their way when we have the power to help, we sin.
James 2:15-17 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
In Conclusion, we can enjoy what we have whether little or much but we should be thankful and generous people. Not stingy, hoarding it all to ourselves or putting our trust in wealth. God promises that those who believe in Him and trust him, he will provide their needs.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
So many people are perplexed and wonder, if God were good than why so much evil and pain in the world?
I think there are a few reasons.
1.) suffering is a byproduct of living in a sinful world. We have to deal with people who can be selfish just like we can ourselves at times.
God has given each of us an ability to choose right and wrong and sometimes we
A.) Choose wrong and reap the consequences
B.) Others sinful choices affect us. We look at the victims of fraud, drunk driving accidents, terror attacks, homicide and rape and we realize that sometimes people suffer because of others!
C.) We can also suffer as a result of the fallen creation, when sin entered into human existence it acted as a computer virus in a way and messed up the created order. Disease, natural disaster, and death entered the equation. Before the fall, creation knew no curse of sin, it knew no death nor illness nor pain or sorrow.
The good news is that God is a redemptive God. He deals with man’s sin problem on the cross so that those who put their hope in him can look forward to a day when the curse of sin is totally broken! For the time being us who believe in Jesus should act as a glimmer of hope to a dark and broken world, full of pain and hopelessness!
Life here in this world will never be as it once was in perfection as long as sin remains, however, God gives us grace and strength for ever trial. He gives everyone who has come to faith in Christ his permanent presence.
(Romans 8:35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:“For your sake we face death all day long;we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Nothing can remove God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, not even the worst of trials. Now why if God loves us, why does he put us through hard times?
1.) As we have already seen, we live in a fallen world. “For the creation was subjected to frustration” creation is the natural order of this physical existence, yet, in it’s unredeemed state it groans for the “children of God to be revealed”
Romans 8:18-21, 35-39 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God
One day Jesus will make all things right and will remove the decay, yet before he comes he wants to give people a chance to come to him, as many as possible.
2.) Suffering is nothing in comparison to what awaits the child of God. It is “not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us”
A.) Suffering develops a child of God, and although God is not the author of pain and evil he skillfully uses it.
James 1:2-5 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
How to respond to suffering as a Christian?
1.) our perspective needs to be right.
We must see our pain in light of eternity, which can be very hard at times, but we must realize tragedy and trouble can be great tools.
2.) we need to persevere and not throw in the towel. It’s easy to get discouraged but if we do that we miss what he is doing in us.
A.) Why? So we can be “mature and complete”
3.) We need wisdom in our trials. In many of my own personal hardships, I needed wisdom to know HOW to respond in a way that would speed up and maximize growth. Cooperation is very helpful and resisting is not the best option, it usually only makes the trial harder. We ought to ask, “Lord what do you want me to learn from this?” “How should I respond to such trying times?”
4.) We must not give way to tempting doubt.
We may think God doesn’t care or he has no interest, but the truth is he does. We must not doubt his willingness to help us through.
Jesus’s disciples thought this on one occassion. In Matthew 8:23-26, the disciples got into a boat and were sailing along with Jesus and everything seemed ok till “Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. ”
Jesus had not left them, he was only sleeping. When he seems quite it could be just another opportunity to trust that no matter how turbulent life’s waters get, he is still there.
For those who don’t know Christ, He invites them to know Him and trust their lives to him. He never promises an easy life but rather a life where they can be confident of His presence to never forsake them if they recieve his gift of mercy by acknowleging their sins and trusting what His ultimate suffering on the cross can do for them.
Im not here to stereo type Athiests as a whole, I have had some friends who were Atheist and were decent people but some today are as militant as it comes. You don’t have to look to far to find some story of some angry Atheist group getting their panties in a bunch over some one who wants to practice their faith. They don’t have to believe in a God and no one will force them. After all it is a free country, but when they get nasty and try to interfere with the rights of those who do believe, then they should be exposed for what they are doing.
-Sheriff under fire for giving sermons while in uniform
He was invited to speak at a local church now a radical bunch of anti- God fanatics is threatening suit. They argued that he should not be allowed to do that while in uniform.
Atheist group threatens suit over ‘angels’ on memorial to beloved teacher
The teacher who died by the way was a devoted Christian and the Atheist group demanded the crosses be taken down and the angel be removed from her grave.
Student reprimanded for saying “God Bless America”
Atheist group uses Santa to promote anti-Christmas message
Indeed if there is no God as they so often assert, then they should not be offended. Have you ever seen an Atheist protest about stories of the Tooth Fair or Easter Bunny? No one complains about mall Santa’s either. Thats all I have to say, stop proselytizing us with your angry objections that we are forcing our beliefs on you guys when the Schools teaches your evolutionist agenda. Don’t force your Darwin religion on us…
You believe what you want but “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
We have heard all sorts of lingo come out of peoples mouth, and one phrase people like to say is, “My body, my choice.” Yet for a Christian this really cannot be said.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
We were bought and forgiven with the blood of Jesus if we are truly his, so we no longer have the freedom to just do whatever we want with our body. God does not want to spoil our fun though but so many people see God’s commands as unnecessary restrictions that cramp their style. But the contrary is true, his laws are for our good and not our harm and there are laws to this universe and when they get broken people hurt themselves and others. If you jump out of a plane without a parachute you die, when you mess with fire carelessly you get burned. These are physical consequences to breaking the laws of the natural world. how can we think we will escape the pain of breaking spiritual laws? If your greedy and use people, you will end up with very little friends. If you cheat and steal you will eventually be found out. If you lie then people will eventually not trust what you say.
These are the consequences of breaking God’s commands.
God has made us a certain way and for a certain purpose, and his word is like an operating manual for a piece of machinery, or like the owners manual for a car. Don’t expect your car to last long if you never change the engine oil, and don’t expect it to drive if it has no gas. Things operate a certain way and so do we. We must trust God to know what is truly most beneficial for our lives.