Saturday, July 25, 2015

Before I formed you

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
                                                                                        Jeremiah 1:5
So begins the book of Jeremiah. God tells Jeremiah "I knew you". What a pregnant statement. The God of all creation knew Jeremiah before he was even formed. Before he was even conceived God knew the prophet and had a plan for that prophets life!

The Psalmist elaborates even further " My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them." not only did the Lord of creation have a plan for Jeremiah,but, it was already written down, God knew the intimate details of Jeremiahs life before he was ever born. 

People claim all the time that the Bible is an ancient book, irrelevant to today's society, that it has nothing to say about life as we know it today. It seems to me that in light of what we have witnessed in recent days-as not one-but two videos have surfaced-with more on the way-that expose in lurid detail the true nature of the abortion industry-that it is quite relevant to the issues we face today.

By now most people have at least heard about -if not seen- the shameful and disgusting ways in which officials with the nations largest provider of abortion talk in almost cavalier fashion about procuring fetal livers, or obtaining fetal tissue in a "less crunchy" way. It is enough to turn the stomach!

It's amazing to me that it has taken this long for the truth about this evil and grotesque practice to really see the light of day. For years pro life activists and advocates for the unborn have been crying out to any and all who would listen about the horror of abortion. Time and time again the defenders of life have tried in vain to reason with the nation about the plight of the child in the womb, how precious lives were being snuffed out-before they even really had a chance to begin- but to no avail. 

Voices have been raised attempting to call the attention of the public to the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion. It always seemed as though people were blind and deaf when it came to the realities of abortion. That has all changed. It is as if scales have fallen from the eyes of the public, and for the first time, people are grasping,and coming to grips with, what an atrocity abortion really is! 

Suddenly it is beginning to dawn on people-even on those who for years have been ardent supporters of what is euphemistically called "a woman's right to choose"-that this really is a tiny human being that is being torn apart, that this is actually a human body being mutilated, that this really is a human life being destroyed, every single time an abortion is performed in this country!

However to those who pay attention to the Word of God this is nothing new. Christians have known and argued for years that life begins at the moment of conception. We have not been taken by surprise by this recent turn of events. 

Our scripture informs us that each person is formed by God. God-the eternal God-the omnipresent and omniscient God-the ONE who can see past present, and future,has a plan for each and every human being. Does His plan always get fulfilled? No! It is never God's plan that one so little and full of potential should be ripped limb from limb by the abortionist.

Our God is a God of life consider this passage from the book of Deuteronomy 30:19 "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live"  God called upon Israel to choose life-and I don't think it is an accident that he mentioned-"so that...your children may live".

God could see down through the long and dark corridor of human history to a future time when Israel would sacrifice their own children in the fires of the false god Molech. He could see down through that same dark passage-a passage darkened by man's disobedience to God-to our time. God in His eternal wisdom was speaking not only to Israel,but also all people,when he plead with them to choose life. Life for themselves and life for their children. He knew what people were capable of and what they ultimately would do. 

That is why He promises blessings for choosing life, but curses if we don't. Those promises and warnings are for us, for all people, for everyone! When parents choose life God's blessings come in the joy of raising children, watching them grow, and one day become productive adults raising their own brood. When parents choose to kill their offspring through abortion the curses come through a lifetime of guilt, regret and shame.

There is so much to this whole subject that cannot possibly be covered in so small a space. Suffice it to say that the God of all creation,the God who is the author of ALL life, is not pleased with -what for many is a recent revelation-the killing and dissecting of unborn babies for any reason! 

It is my prayer that as more of these videos come to light, that perhaps, finally, enough people will be so sickened, and repulsed, by what they see that there will at last be a great groundswell of the people against this atrocity called abortion! That people won't just be horrified for a short time and then fall back into complacency, but will instead, be so outraged, so sickened, so enraged, by what they see that they will demand -nay scream- for Congress and this government to put and end to this vile and evil practice once and for all!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Calling sinners to repentance

Photo courtesy of Thomas roberts

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32 N.K.J.V 

Recently I was on a facebook page in support of some Christian bakers who have run afoul of the politically correct ideology that now seems to control America. 

As I was scrolling through the comments I came across one that ran something to the effect that Jesus would accept-and possibly even embrace- homosexuality. This person went on to chide the folks involved for not being loving and accepting like Jesus was.

I was a bit dumbfounded. I find it hard to believe Jesus would condone something that the Hebrew scripture-our Old Testament-explicitly condemned.

In Leviticus 18:22-26 the Bible calls the practice of homosexuality an "abomination" and goes so far as to say the inhabitants of a land that practices such things will be punished. Furthermore Jesus said that He had come to fulfill this very law and not to destroy it.

In fact He said that not one word,or smallest bit of punctuation, would pass from the law. Indeed Jesus went so far as to say anyone who taught other people to disobey God's laws would be called "least" in the Kingdom of heaven!

So where do people get this idea that somehow Jesus would approve of or accept the homosexual lifestyle? I think they confuse Jesus love for sinners-all sinners-for acceptance and maybe even approval. To say the least these things are controversial.

Jesus was no stranger to controversy. In the passage I opened this article with Jesus faced criticism for dining with "tax collectors and sinners". 

The Pharisees,who considered themselves quite righteous in their own eyes, could not understand how a person professing to be a teacher of God's Word could stoop so low as to hob knob with such riffraff.

However Jesus associating and visiting the tax collectors and sinners did not mean He approved of what they were doing. On the contrary Jesus pointed out that healthy people didn't need doctors sick people do. 

Jesus obviously considered sin to be a spiritual sickness and He-as the great physician-had come to heal them. He was spending time with these folks not because he approved of what they were doing, but because he knew they needed to be saved from what they were doing.

I argued that Jesus had  spent time with tax collectors and sinners in order to confront them with their sin and to tell them that there was,and still is, a better way. 

You see Jesus loved-not only homosexuals but all who sin-so much that he died on a cross, bearing their punishment, taking their shame, so that they could, through believing in Him,be set free from the bondage of sin in general and homosexuality in particular. 

You see Jesus loves sinners but he hates sin. He hates the destruction, and confusion that sin wrecks upon peoples lives. Jesus doesn't just hate the sin of homosexuality but the sin of lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, fornication etc etc .

So are Christian bakers or florists or anyone who refuses to take part in a "Gay" wedding showing hate and intolerance? No! they obviously feel strongly that -for them- it would be wrong to participate in the celebration of  something that is -by Biblical standards-wrong.

The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That the wages of sin is death, but, that the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He came to call sinners to repentance. 

Today Jesus is calling homosexuals to repent-turn away from -their sin and come to Him. In return He will heal them and free them from the bondage their sin keeps them in. And not only homosexuals but heterosexuals who have problems with adultery 

Jesus is calling liars and thieves and drunkards to cry out to Him for salvation. Jesus is calling people who are righteous in their own eyes to realize their sinfulness and turn to Him and be saved. 

In short Jesus is calling to all mankind to turn to Him and be saved. Saved from sin ,saved from their own self delusion, but most importantly, to be saved from the wrath and anger of a righteous and Holy God against such sins.

So you may ask what must I do to be saved? If you will confess that you are a sinner, be sorry for your sin and turn from sin to Jesus Christ,accept Jesus as Lord of your life,and believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, then the Bible says you will be saved. It is simple as that.

Jesus did not come to pat us on the back and approve of our sins. He came to make us conscious of our sins and to provide the way for us to be saved from them, and He did it out of love. What we do with this knowledge is up to us. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Today's politics by Freedomlover: #Neveragainisnow

Today's politics by Freedomlover: #Neveragainisnow: The Clarion Project #neveragainisnow That is the title of this article. It refers to a movement started by Glenn Beck to draw attention ...


The Clarion Project
#neveragainisnow That is the title of this article. It refers to a movement started by Glenn Beck to draw attention to the plight of the Christians in  Iraq and Syria. It has grown to also include all those who daily suffer persecution at the hands of ISIS.

It is a reference to the mantra I have heard since I was a child that we should never again allow a holocaust to happen such as the one that was perpetrated against the Jews and others by the Nazis.

Unfortunately in our day we are witnessing a modern day genocide. However this time it is a genocide against Christians as well as anyone else ISIS happens to hate or disagree with at the moment, and yet the world does nothing.

In America we have come all unglued over the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage. Great crowds of people are fuming over the plight of Christian Bakers in Oregon and- I include myself in both these groups-yet we are silent about the mass killing of Christian men and the systematic rape and selling into slavery of Christian women and children. How can this be?

I suppose to some extent it has to do with the crisis being a half a world away. We feel as though there is nothing we can do to effect what is happening on the ground, and so ,we do nothing at all. I have to admit I haven't done much myself. I have spoke about it in my church group. Mentioned it for prayer several times. Heck I even pray for those suffering almost daily. We feel powerless.

However we -I-all of us- may be underestimating the power of prayer. Jesus taught "ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find knock, and it shall be opened to you. Prayer is probably the most powerful,and yet, most underutilized weapon in a Christians arsenal. Look at what happened leading up to the day of Pentecost for the early disciples. The Bible tells us that a handful of believers were together, focused in prayer, and the place where they were praying was shaken!

The Holy spirit came down filled ,and, empowered the Apostles and disciples and more than 5000 people came to faith in Jesus Christ! A world religion was born and the world gradually transformed by the power of prayer.

To be sure there is much we can do aside from prayer. There are several ministries that are focusing on bringing relief to the victims of ISIS. On of those is Mercury One and there #neveragainisnow campaign. Another is Baptist Global Response. These and other ministries are worthy of our prayers and our support,but, perhaps the most powerful thing we all can do is pray for the people who are being daily thrown from their homes, killed ,raped, and tortured.

Pray that God will give them boldness to stand firm for Christ. Pray that God will meet their need for daily necessities, shelter and safety. Pray also for those who are caught up in the evil which is ISIS. Pray that God will convict them of their sin and bring them to a saving conviction of Jesus Christ as Lord.

We also should pray that the Lord would open the eyes of our leaders, and ,the world to see the plight of these people and that we would take our pledge to never again allow a holocaust happen again seriously and take whatever action is needed to bring an end to ISIS and set these people free from tho horrors this bunch of thugs is perpetrating.

Well that's all I have for tonight. You will notice the picture at the top of the page. It is from an article titled "The Price of Flesh:Selling Women in The Islamic State Caliphate" it tells just a small part of the story of this atrocity in our time . My prayer is you will take time to get informed and speak out against this evil in our time.