Sunday, March 31, 2013

RISING EXPECTATION - FROM EMPTY TOMB TO GLORY!

Webster's Dictionary describes the word "EXPECTATION" as an act of "state of anticipation"...something that "would happen"!
As we look at the basis of the Greatest Event in Human History - The Resurrection of The Creator of all things (Colossians 1) - we find ourselves in a paradigm pregnant with Expectation. The incredible PROVEN event of God (Who became Man), rising out of a grave would have been a stand-alone miracle in itself, were it not for the fact that this ONE single act gave us the assurance of similar rising expectations on the Glorious (yet fearsome) Day of the Lord!

This basis of my entire being- all I believe, see, feel, touch eat and sleep - is absolutely mind-blowing! The Righteous Branch of the Godly Trinity was prophesied to rise up from the dead in Psalm 16:10 but it was Hosea 6:1-2 which prophesies OUR revival or restoration into the Heavenly realms with Abba Father!  Peter confirmed it in Acts 2:25-28. Can you imagine what it would be like to l
ook forward to the day when we sit with Isaiah; Daniel; Jeremiah and Hosea and Amos and Ezekiel and talk about the Lord and His goodness? Wow!

It is one thing to read, comprehend and believe our great prophet brothers. It is quite another to prove it by walking it out in authenticity. It was recorded that Jesus appeared to 500 men at the same time before He ascended into heaven! In Biblical terms, you can correctly assume it was then thousands because most of these men had wives and large families! Then Jesus appeared to His chief persecutor - Saul - and Jesus' own half-brother James, who doubted the Savior for most of his life growing up under Mary and Joseph! SEE 1 CORINTHIANS 15:3-8 ESV

The secular historian Josephus was a good friend of this same James, the half-brother of Jesus and recorded that in his history book, which the conquering Romans instructed him to write. Josephus, a non-believer in the Way, has no axe to grind when he wrote the following in "Antiquities" ("Testimonium Flavianum"...Ant. 18.63-64) 
          
“About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man [if indeed one ought to call him a man.] For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. [He was the Christ.] When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him.  [On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him.] And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

Still, even without all this evidence, I still would have believed in the Resurrection...and it is because of the greatest gift God can give anyone (along with Salvation, of course). That gift is Faith! The concise yet powerful meaning of Faith is  described here in Hebrews 11:1 ""Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"

Therefore, in light of the prophesy; the actual death on the Cross of the Savior and His final victory over the death and hell...and then His resurrection from His own grave, I re-affirm my expectation on rising with my fellow believing brethren. I stand with yearning and hopeful eyes looking skyward because it is that Empty Tomb, which guarantees my eternal position in the family of the Faithful, in Jesus' Name - amen - Glory to His Name!


Friday, March 29, 2013

JESUS & DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE INCOMPATIBLE?

On the surface, that headline carries a strange question! But is really? I was studying the Book of Ecclesiastes recently and in Chapter 2,  the "Preacher" - King Solomon - expounds pleasure. This led me to a study of the philosophy of Epicureans. The comparison with King Solomon and 21st Century America is uncanny! Solomon in his corrupt heyday did what was right in his own eyes, just like people today. He was the ultimate Epicurean.

Now, there is a misconception that Epicureans believe only in "wine, women and song".....or "eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die" and many carnal christians themselves believe and practice that lifestyle. Unfortunately, this included one of the most liked of America's Founding Fathers and most famous author of the American Declaration of Independence - Thomas Jefferson.

Contrary to creative historian David Barton, Jefferson was not a born-again Christian but a legitimate Epicurean libertine and Exhibit A of the current decline of America to where it is heading today- downhill with no brakes! Why would I, a born-again believe and support of the Founding Documents of the Greatest Country ever created by man make such a statement? Well, let's read what Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (Paragraph 2)

There it is - "THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS"! Thomas Jefferson did NOT proceed to say that the Pursuit of Happiness is because of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the pursuit of the God of the Bible. But Jefferson did say this phrase IMMEDIATELY following his statement on the "pursuit of happiness" - "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

There it is! Unless Jefferson's love of the word "Government" is the original Biblical Greek word for "God", the Founding Father and creator of a modern US political party is guaranteeing that "safety and happiness" comes from government! This is typical Epicureanism where this philosophy's true belief was not just hedonism but a painless concept of "happiness" and metaphysical pleasure as the greatest good!! 

Is this what God - in the Form of The Son - JESUS CHRIST - died for on Good Friday almost 1980 years ago? Did the Creator of the Universe, the Ancient of Days, Who poured Himself out and humbled Himself and let corrupt politically corrupt religious leaders persecute, torture and execute Him on a Cross...did THAT GOD do ALL of this so that we should pursue our happiness as one man...sure he was a founding father,  etched in stone? Did Jesus DIE in Vain?

The answers to all of the above is of course, NO. The Lord Jesus gave His Life, as part of the eternal plan of God to rescue mankind from itself and restore him/her to a right relationship with Him. As we reflect on the Passover and Good Friday, on the Holiest week for both Jews and Christians, never lose sight of this.

We have so-called men and women of God - from pastors of "evangelical" and African-American churches falling all over themselves to endorse a Biblical oxymoron "gay marriage". We have young so-called "christians" in colleges like Biola, Wheaton and in America's megachurches not just thinking it is okay, but compartmentalizing God and secular culture so they can support the new trends AND be pro-choice on Abortion, while acting like a fool with their hands in the air to some loud praise band with their theological pants on the ground. None of these people could hold a candle to Pastor Saeed and others in the worldwide persecuted church...and in fact these same clergy and young "christians" will face the Wrath of God on Judgment Day.

The Cross is the great Divide. When the Lord Jesus gave up His onetime earthly life and said "IT IS FINISHED" - it WAS finished...and decided once and for all. Jesus is called The Word many times in the Bible...and He is deadly SERIOUS About His Word. He said so (every jot and tittle). That includes not just everything from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, but every syllable of every letter in between. Those religious types from the pharisees of the Sanhedrin; to the liberal clergy of North America to young "christians" playing church with their lattes and smart phones will be held to account for crucifying the Son of Man again and again and again with their heresies.

The Cross is the great Divide. The Pursuit of Happiness is not the problem, the means to it is. If the "Joy of the Lord" is your strength, we are on the right side of the Cross. If our happiness and pleasure are found in the things of and created by man and his corrupt culture, we ARE on the WRONG side of the Cross. So there really is a choice. 

The Choice is - do we choose the fleeting happiness of the world, which comes with bondage and chains to a captive philosophy OR do we choose today "to be with Him in Paradise"? You see, it really does come down to which side of the Cross you are on. As for me and my house, we will choose the Lord.  This fleeting life is measured in terms of what others say about you for 10 seconds on some news cast when it should be marked with the Seal of Approval from the Only One Who matters - Jesus Christ. Your happiness and mine should be defined by our repentance and acceptance and confession of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).

THAT SHOULD BE OUR PERSONAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE...BECAUSE IT IS THAT WHICH HAS SET US FREE AND LOOSED US INTO THE ETERNAL KINGDOM....NOTHING ELSE. THIS IS WHAT THE CROSS SHOULD MEAN TO US - AMONG OTHER THINGS - IT SHOULD BE A SYMBOL OF OUR FREEDOM FROM THE CAPTIVITY OF SIN....AND A PROMISE OF TRUE JOY AND HAPPINESS IN THE COMING ETERNAL KINGDOM, IN JESUS' NAME, AMEN.
"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.....Galatians 5:1 (NASB).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"I DON'T HAVE THE HEART...."


"For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" Phil 1:29
Your heart has to be broken by the statement of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, now being martyred by the sons of Ham and Ismael in Iran, for being a Christian. One angle not discussed much by the ordinary US christians who are supporting and praying for him is the effect all of this persecution is having on his children.Saeed's wife Naghmeh said in testimony in front of the US House of Representatives in Congress on Friday March 22 that she did not have the heart to tell them that if we don't do anything, that daddy might never survive the horrific Evin prison. I do not have the heart to tell them of the 8 year sentence. "I do hope we can work together to bring Saeed home and I will never have to tell my kids of the dire situation their father is in." 

It is bad enough that it is only now that the US government is paying lip service to this situation and there is no mention of this criminal abuse from the entire pagan America mainstream media, from its New York - DC Axis (NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and its newspapers). But this is really troubling -s the position of corrupt American Christianity. 


Where are American Christians and their famous leaders calling for fasting and prayer for this brothers and others like him worldwide? Where are they? Maybe, they're waiting for the latest movie to come out on Netflix, while their kids do the "Harlem Shake" in "youth group" at church.......

Sunday, March 24, 2013

NEW FEATURE: OUTRAGES OF THE PAST WEEK

As the time of the End of all things grows shorter, we see all kinds of people - educated people - losing both their minds and any form of decency or wisdom. There is no just a complete lack of respect for The Lord and His people, but a willful disregard and dismissal of the Truth of the Coming Judgment - both on a corporate AND personal level.  

Most people around the world, but more so in the decadent western democracies live their lives with no concern for their eternal destiny...and by the way, just for the record...THERE IS AN ETERNITY waiting for each and every human. There are also only two choices and each human makes his/her own selection, in keeping with our free will.  The majority of humanity has always chosen eternal separation from God....all the while fooling themselves that "it will all work out in the end"! The only good choice, and the only one with a guarantee, is to cry out to God to be saved and if you are truly repentant, then become a disciple and follower of the Lord.

It is with this in mind that starting this week, we will look back and identify a few major outrages against God, True Christianity and which statutes of God they violate.

OUTRAGES OF THE WEEK:
STUDENT SUSPENDED FROM FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY FOR REFUSING TO STOMP OVER THE NAME OF JESUS!
FAU junior Ryan Rotela was suspended from his class for refusing to participate in their "cultural diversity" program - which oddly enough only targets Jesus! You will never see these liberal godless and taxpayer-funded institutions attempt to stomp over the names of Mohammed or Buddha or even Satan, but the Name of Jesus seems to be okay. After a massive national outcry and after initially refusing to acknowledge its offense against Christians and taxpayers, the south Florida based college was forced to apologize...somewhat.

COMMENT: The Name of the Lord is Holy and many will not be able to answer for transgressing against the Commandments against blasphemy. Still the Grace and Mercy of God are available to ALL who are truly repentant and cry out to Him for Salvation and forgiveness from this evil.

GREEN STREET METHODIST CHURCH
2. NORTH CAROLINA METHODIST CHURCH REFUSES TO CONDUCT STRAIGHT MARRIAGES!
The Green Street Methodist Church of downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina has adopted the public policy of refusing and cancelling all weddings until "gay marriage" is allowed in North Carolina! This article (see link above) speaks for itself.

COMMENT: This "church" is in major apostasy, just like the also ultra-left United Church of Christ, which has long endorsed this sort of secular same-sex union. Nowhere in their published comments is the Green Street UMC talking about God, the Bible or Jesus....you know..the only reason they are supposed to be a church! Read Revelation 2:12-17 about the Church of Pergamos. Like all who glorify the flesh, this and other liberal churches will be judged harshly one day for corrupting the Word of God, according to the spirit of Balaam.

3. ROB BELL.....AGAIN!
Hot on the heels of the book that got him to "resign" from Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan, the author of "LOVE WINS" now declares that God is "pulling us ahead to affirm gay brothers and sisters". He said this so as to complete his total fall away from Biblical Christianity, as he declares himself in support of gay "marriage".

COMMENT: Bell must have had his theological head rung too many times by apostate teaching. Just one year after his controversial statement that there is no hell...because Love Wins in the end, Bell completely ignores Biblical teaching by Christ on marriage (Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:4-5). There is no point in going on and on about this man. He is no different than his brother in apostasy - former Bishop Carlton Pearson - who did the same thing as Bell, in the same order too!

4. PASTOR SAEED....FELLOW AMERICAN PASTOR IGNORED BY U.S. MEGACHURCH FAMOUS PREACHERS AND THE U.S. GOVT
It is one thing for secular politicians and American governmental agencies to abandon an American pastor held in an islamic prison in Iran. It is another thing for men like John Piper, Joel Osteen and even Andy Stanley and other uber-rich and comfortable US mega-church pastors to be silent as one of their brothers is martyred by the sons of Ishmael...as US Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-Va) once pointed out several months ago.
 
UPDATE ON PASTOR SAEED FROM THE AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE HERE.


COMMENT: If Israel or some other friendly western country had seized a religious figure and treated him as Pastor Saeed is treated by the Iranians, all the major US "news" networks would blast it from the mountain top daily. The American media show their true colors every day, and nobody is surprised about their hatred for God, Jesus Christ and Christians persecuted worldwide. They also say nothing when islamic terrorists Boka Haran kill Christians in Nigeria or the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt etc etc etc. So let us continue to pray for all of our Christian brothers and sisters in these persecuted lands. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

#THE BIBLE SERIES - LIONS, FIRE AND FISH

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. (A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens 1859)
The above quote from over 150 years ago could be written about this current day! It is amazing how prophetic this wonderful Christian author Dickens really was. The world is in turmoil and closer to the Final Moment than ever before. Right smack dab in the middle of run on banks in southern Europe; chemical warfare genocide in Syria; nuclear strike threats from North Korea and an American pastor abandoned by his country's officials in the islamic terrorist regime in Iran - we have the most joyful event of 2013 exploding all over our consciousness!

The Bible Series (2013), currently the most watched program in America on any TV network, has accumulated over 68 millions viewers in only three episodes on lesser known cable channels Lifetime and History! The fast moving narrative of the Greatest Book on Earth has captivated minds across the board - one last time! This is the first exposure most folks, forty ever had of the Hand of God throughout history. Many of the majority of North Americans are not raised in church anymore, and even if they are, their megachurches treat the Bible as a powerpoint slide and never encourage true expository Biblical teaching.



This is the first Chronological examination of the History of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Eschewing a few important textual and/or dramatic errors, none of them take away from the fundamental accuracy of the message. In the final episode before the New Testament era, the treatment of the Babylonian exile; the brutality of Nebuchannezzar and the rescue of the Jews by the unlikely pagan Persian King Cyrus were explained in stark high definition in more ways than one. Cyrus was prophesied by Isaiah 100 years earlier when God the Father Himself said in Isaiah 45: 1-7: "“Thus says the Lord to His anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—
To subdue nations before him
And loose the armor of kings,
To open before him the double doors,
So that the gates will not be shut:
‘I will go before you
And make the crooked places[a] straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.
For Jacob My servant’s sake,
And Israel My elect,
I have even called you by your name;
I have named you, though you have not known Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me

(note in these last five lines - in bold, God said Cyrus does NOT know Him...and Cyrus did not...he worshiped pagan idols until he died)

The Power and Sovereignty of God, as He appeared in the flames which the vicious Babylonian king caused goosebumps all over the fruited plain! The appearance of the great Prophet Daniel, who has never had a movie made about him before, was treated with great courage and integrity. So was his appearance in the Lion's Den after being set up by the evil Haman who sought revenge for what the Israelites did to his people - The Amalekites (whom Moses killed)!

The transition from Daniel and the returning Jews to Jerusalem to the Roman Empire oppression of the Holy Land was seamless, sad and still - very powerful. The quality of production was so realistic, the viewer could feel thorough disgust at the foul King Herod and the evil Roman Empire mistreating the peasantry. A major controversy erupted over the comparison of the zombie looking figure of Satan with a well known American leader, but it does not distract from the magnificence of the Son of Man appearing on the Scene to begin His Ministry on earth.

The best line of the series so far is quoted by the actor playing Jesus. When Peter asked Him why He was going to make him (Peter) "fishers of men", Jesus said "To Change The World"....and looking around these days, the World does need changing!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

THE KINGDOM IS FOR A CHILD... PART 2

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 ESV)

All through the ages, it has always been easier to teach a child about the Ways and Wonders of the Lord than an adult. This is the way the Lord intended it (see Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.) We all know this from our days either in Sunday school. Many of us, including my wife and myself, have taught or are still in children's ministry. Their joy and wonder and innocence about God are still putting hardened young people and adults to shame!

As Ken Ham and Britt Beamer's research discovered a few years ago, in the book Already Gone, by the time these same kids get to 6th grade and up, we lose them to the world! Not all, of course, but the majority who make up our youth groups. The current corrupt American culture and education systems have succeeded in training up our kids in the way they should NOT go and God will punish those people...and our children if we do not try to teach them as Jesus instructed Nicodemus here in John chapter 3.

The term He used in John 3:3 is mind boggling and puts a lie to religion by works, period. Most Christians have no clue what "born again" really means. The actual MEANING of the words Jesus used are "gennao" and "anĂ³then". This literally means that "unless I (Jesus) brings you forth ANEW from Heaven MYSELF you are not a child of the Kingdom of Heaven"!!!!! THINK ABOUT THIS FOR A LONG TIME TODAY!

Does this describe you? Has Jesus Himself literally come down into your inner person and made you new, a new creation, by birthing your soul, as a new child into His Kingdom? Please examine yourself today and see if ye be in the Faith. Your future residence depends on it. Amen

Monday, March 18, 2013

THE KINGDOM IS FOR A CHILD... PART 1


But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14 NASB)

Many people...and not just the lost secular ones, but Christians look askance at young people and children as to be quiet and "wait their turn". It is NOT so in the Kingdom of God. Do NOT despise, look down or treat our children - who seek the Lord - as those who don't know what they are talking about. They could well be saved and called by the Lord than some adult in a pew, including the guy up there preaching!

Here is the LORD JESUS on this from Matthew 18 NLT: "10 "Beware that you don't despise a single one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father. 11 12 "If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? 13 And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn't wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father's will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

#THE BIBLE SERIES - CRITICS MISSING THE POINT

"But Jesus said to him, "Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.....Luke 9:50 NASB

In less than 10 days, the new THE BIBLE miniseries has been the most watched program on Television this year! The fact that it is on a cable channel - THE HISTORY CHANNEL - and the subject is the Greatest Book of All time, in a time of corruption and evil - IS INCREDIBLE!

Yet, some of my brothers and sisters persist in not just criticism of this massive worldwide outreach, but downright unChristian language and a complete lack of love and perspective on what is truly happening. Most of the criticism involves what is missing from the narrative. It is difficult to get every morsel of Truth into a 20 hour program, designed to accomodate commercials and it is obvious certain key verses were left out. 

However this series never claimed to be a verse by verse exposition.  In a time where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, and Biblical illiteracy is close to 91% for all adults, what is wrong with bringing back the Story of the Greatest Event on Earth - God coming to the Earth to save mankind - and the Events which preceded it? Why are some self-appointed apologists tagging themselves to the pharisees of the pre-70AD temple in Jerusalem, by nitpicking every single thing out there? Why can't they answer in coherent thought without resorting to profanity and blashemy even, when called on it? Where is the love for the lost?

I am a man who stands on the shoulders of the great Puritans in my theology - Bunyan, Baxter, Owens...and down the line to Whitfield, Edwards, Moody, Tozer, Comfort, Washer and Richard Owen Roberts. Those men preached Gospel Truth with love and righteousness. I have heard Paul Washer up close tell the story of sitting for days with a beatened down old lumberjack in the Pacific Northwest, afraid for the man's soul. Paul reasoned with him from the Scriptures for hours and hours and hours, missing his own flight back to Alabama. This man had never been shown love and this kind of care before. Yet the Spirit of the Lord reached down into Paul Washer and after almost two days, this dying old lumberjack gave his life to the Lord....because somebody cared to show him the Word of the Promise.


Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, Producers of The Bible
This is how I see this Bible Series. I have read more young people and even atheists on social media...and with Twitter exploding each time it's on...with this Bible series than any fluff sermon from American megachurch preachers or hitting over the head with the Bible pharisees on my end of the spectrum. Jesus said the end will not come until the Gospel is preached to the ends of the earth. With satellite TV, tablets, webstreaming and more, this Word of the Lord - with its TV production flaws is doing just that.  Regardless of what critics says, this is bringing back discussion on the Word, the Ten Commandments, Moses, King David, Adultery, Saul, Disobedience, the Red Sea....and even Passover, which is coming up soon!

Those who criticize and insult me, and call my defense of this series "Bovine Scatology" need to repent and search their hearts to see if they are really walking with the Lord. There is no love in there, if they cannot see this for what it is - an open door for they themselves, to reach and love the Lost to Jesus, if they...and we, so care. So I will keep watching and so will you. I can't wait to see how the Lord Jesus is handled and find this to be very exciting - the Gospel - TO INFINITY....AND BEYOND!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SPECIAL DEVOTIONAL: FATHER'S GENEROSITY


ProdigalSonWHAT IS PRECIOUS TO YOU?.....read on...........
Everything I have is yours. (Luke 15:31)
The party was in full swing. The sounds of music and dancing and animated celebration were unmistakable—and incomprehensible—to the young man. “You mean my brother squandered a hefty portion of the family estate,” he splutters, “and we celebrate?” Bitterness radiates from him as surely as the sound of joyful merrymaking carries from the feast. “My brother had all that wicked fun, and then he’s treated like a hero for returning? I’ve served my father so faithfully,” he fumes, “yet he’s never given me so much as a small goat to feast on with my friends.”
The older son’s problem is that he never asked. His father even assured him, “Everything I have is yours.” Everything! The older son didn’t consider his father to be so extravagantly generous; he didn’t expect impressive expressions of his father’s love. He was so caught up in duty, service, and obedience that he missed the most important thing: love, displayed extravagantly and without hesitation.
This is the kind of love that God the Father showers on us every day. We have only to receive it from him. It’s the kind of love that created the heavens and the earth, the kind of love that set us as rulers over creation. It’s the kind of love that sacrificed his only Son for our sake and still forgives, and forgives, and forgives again. Generous. Overflowing. Extravagant. The kind of love that boldly declares, “Everything I have is yours.” That’s how much your heavenly Father loves you!
This week, ask your Father for that “goat” for a feast with your friends. Ask him for something you’d like but don’t necessarily need. Set aside all thought of what you deserve, all insecurity, all fear of punishment. Your Father loves you. He delights in you and wants to declare his love for you unmistakably and extravagantly. When the older son complained that he had never had a feast, his father opened his arms and his heart, declaring, “It’s all yours.” This is who our God is. This is how he loves us. Be confident in that love. Ask.
“Father, I don’t always think your extravagant love is for me. Help me to grow in confidence and assurance that when I ask, you will answer generously.”
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12

Saturday, March 9, 2013

THE LAST WORDS OF SOME FAMOUS PEOPLE

We must all travel the road of all mankind, back to the God Who created us. At the moment of death...and in some cases, way before that final moment, all of us will know our final destination. We will be sure of one thing - it is either one of two places: Heaven and fellowship forever in the Amazing Presence of God or Hell - eternal separation and torment in the lake of fire.

There is no mulligan; no do-over; no holding cell; no "Get out of Jail Free" card and no such thing as Purgatory! The Word of God says that it is appointed ONCE for man to die - and then the Judgment. In the twinkling of an eye, in a flash of light, in the draw of one breath we are immediately transported into eternity.


They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. I can vouch for that truth. Without going into detail, the Lord has shown me things which would scare the average person about someone else's destiny. My prayer is those persons will seek forgiveness and salvation through repentance  before it is too late for them. As an evangelist and minister...whether it is street ministry or monthly ministry at three different retirement homes or witnessing to scores and scores of adults and children at the state fair....the lost sad eyes of so many would break your heart. It should also make us more intentional to reach as many with the Gospel of Christ before it is too late.


If you speak to chaplains and nurses who work in hospices, the reality of the finality is devastating.  Not many are dying with the Peace of God, through Christ,before they depart this life. All kinds of screaming from those still alive including yells about "feet being on fire" and on and on. This is something we can do our best to change. God can change the hearts of even the harshest unbeliever and sinner to Him, before it is too late. All we have to do is let Him. If those with little time left would just allow Him tochange some of these terrifying stories from the hospices from "my feet are on fire" to "I feel so much at peace", what an amazing testimony that would be! Wouldn't THOSE final words be more desirable? What does it profit the rebellious to go away to eternal punishment just to prove a point? What point? Huh?!


We will all have final words -whether it is on our actual death bed or the night before we wake up in eternity. Have you ever thought what YOUR final words would be? Just recently, the vicious Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez died of cancer at the young age of 57. He thought he was immortal and was full of bravado because he had temporary military power. Yet, his final words were "I don't want to die"...knowing for the first time, where he was heading.


Therefore, I present here, some final words of some famous people. The well known unbelievers were shocking to learn of, in my research. But then, you see the final words of the Redeemed - those saved by Christ, and it grants us peace and hope!


A. THE FINAL WORDS OF NON-CHRISTIANS:


Winston Churchill: “There is no hope, all is lost....I'm bored with it all"

Victor Hugo (author): “I see black light!”

Karl Marx (founder of Communism): “Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!”

Ludwig Van Beethoven (composer): “Too bad, too bad, it is too late!!”

Anne Boleyn (whom King Henry VIII married after divorcing his first wife): “O God, have pity on my soul, O God, have pity on my soul.”

Cardinal Borgia (later to become the corrupt Pope Alexander VI): “I have provided in the course of my life for everything except death, and now, alas, I am to die unprepared!”

W.C. Fields (comedian/actor): “I am looking for a loophole.”

Joan Crawford (famous actress who heard her maid praying out loud for her): Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me.

King Henry VIII ("founder" of the Church of England):
 
All is lost. Monks, monks, monks!


B. THE FINAL WORDS OF CHRISTIANS:

D.L. Moody (great American Evangelist): “I see earth receding; heaven is opening. God is calling me!”

William Shakespeare (the Bard of Avon): I commend my soul into the Hands of God, my Creator, hoping and assuredly believing, through the merits of Jesus Christ my Savior, to be made partaker of life everlasting; and my body to the earth, whereof it was made.”

Daniel Webster (great American statesman and senator 1800’s): “Thank God, the gospel of Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light…I still live.”

David Livingstone (great British Missionary): “Build me a hut to die in, I am going home.”

Charles Dickens (British author): “I commit my soul to the mercy of God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I exhort my dear children humbly to try and guide themselves by the teaching of the New Testament.”

Andrew Jackson (U.S. President known as ‘Old Hickory’): “My dear children do not grieve for me…. I am my God’s. I belong to Him. I go but a short time before you, and …I hope and trust to meet you all in heaven.”

Isaac Watts (hymn-writer, hymns like ‘Joy to the World’ and ‘O God Our Help in Ages Past’): It is a great mercy that I have no manner of fear or dread of death. I could, if God please, lay my head back and die without terror this afternoon!” 


SAUL OF TARSUS (LATER, THE APOSTLE PAUL):  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith....(2 Timothy 4:7 ESV)

THE GREATEST LAST WORDS OF ALL TIME: “IT IS FINISHED” Jesus.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: TIMECHANGER

AN INDICTMENT OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY?
In 2002, Christian movie producer Rich Christiano released his first full-length movie TIMECHANGER which starred a number of well known Hollywood actors – Gavin McLeod (Loveboat); Hal Linden (Barney Miller); Richard Riehle (West Wing); Jennifer O’Neill (Summer of ’42); Comedian Paul Rodriguez and more. With a budget of less than $1M, TimeChanger told a story of Professor Russell Carlisle (D. David Morin) and one missing phrase from his book manuscript. In the plot, Professor Carlisle works at Grace Bible Seminary in the year 1890. He is seeking the unanimous approval of the Seminary trustees to publish his book….that is, until Dr. Norris Anderson (MacLeod) objects over the omission of the Name of Jesus Christ.  Civilized arguments ensues as Dr. Carlisle defends what he sees as the harmless teaching of “good moral values” for life, but which Dr. Anderson sees as worthless without mention who gave these moral laws for living – Jesus Christ.

To prove his point to an obstinate Dr. Carlisle, Dr Anderson invites him to the latter’s home to see something which will prove the latter’s reluctance to approve a book which he knows will add to the decline of Christianity in the future, is correct. Apparently, Dr. Anderson’s father had developed a time travel machine, which was now perfected. He then persuades Dr. Carlisle to allow himself to be sent 100 years into the 21st Century for the experience of a lifetime! What Dr. Carlisle observes is the current corrupt state of the American church; Christianity and society in general.

From a time (1890) when an outrageous 5% of marriages ended in divorce, he is told that now over 50% of marriages today end in divorce. He sees Christians partaking in cultural rut gut as they sit silent at movies where God is blasphemed! Just as horrible, is the current state of the church. The professor sees program after program or one activity after another there, yet the full counsel of God is not preached or taught or walked out. Dr. Carlisle sees the lack of enthusiasm and passion for lost souls in a modern mega church and it shocks him.



What is shocking about this 2002 movie which we showed to the community at the end of February,  is how much ahead of its time that TimeChanger really is, in 2013!  I did mention this to its producer Rich Christiano, who has gone on to make several powerfully sound Biblical modern dvd favorites (Secrets of Jonathan Sperry; Amazing Love etc) whose work can be found on his Christian Movies website. (Christiano has managed to get a lot of mainstream Hollywood actors/actresses to be in his movies, which have increased their appeal.)  As you watch this film, you cannot help but find yourself looking into a mirror to see how much of yourself is being portrayed on the screen – at that time! The script is prophetic and very well written by Christiano.

Initially, the viewer may have some trouble picking up why a group of senior looking men are refusing to agree to publish a book by the younger professor, who then tries to do an unchristian thing and go around the endorsement panel. However once the confused Dr. Carlisle is transported 100 years into the future, an unsettling (and at times, amusing) adventure begins. One scene should make all Christians cringe. There is a scene where Dr. Carlisle has bought a hotdog, sat down to pray for his food, closes his eyes to pray only to have a little girl steal his food and run off with it. When she is finally caught and told that it is wrong to steal, her immediate response is “SAYS WHO?” This eye opening comment makes Dr. Carlisle finally realize that apart from teaching WHO said all of those commandments and statues were wrong, morality is relative! In fact, the movie demonstrates just how Satan has deceived the world. He will even allow his conqueror Jesus to be called a “moral” teacher rather than the Lawgiver of Heaven and the Savior of the World.

What this movie shows is the folly of the modern church – almost every church and/or ministry – in focusing on the people running it, in focusing on secular pursuits dressed up in a bible, in focusing on activity rather than checking on their people being saved  and more. The photography; editing and writing are up to par for any movie made in the early part of the 21st century.  TimeChanger is really important for anyone who cares about how far down the gutter America and its culture have fallen. We will be convicted – each of us – for going along with the culture; watching its blasphemy and perversion and for thinking it has no effect on the soul of a nation. The stunning final message by Dr. Carlisle to a hushed church is the most uncomfortable part of TimeChanger for any true believer. A true and faithful believer would immediately recognize that this is the accusation Jesus Himself will have against the church, its leadership and some of His so-called followers on Judgment Day.

TimeChanger is recommended for those who are searching for the Truth and how to get back into alignment. It is very well written and the humor of Paul Rodriguez and others make for an easy night out with the family and some popcorn. This is also recommended as for those who are faithful to the Lord and are looking for His Second Coming.

TIMECHANGER is recommended as the movie for such a time as this!