Saturday, August 25, 2012

Can You Take It?

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Leviticus 19:17

Hate speech.  It is a term that seems to appear more and more in the news and on the lips of many--including Christians.  There are many who seem to misunderstand the message of love that underlies a loving rebuke from God's word or a close friend.  In essence, anything that does not fit into our opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs could be labeled as hate speech.  However, the problem is that we are fallible, prone to error, and sometimes in desperate need of the kind of love that sets us straight.

Consider the verse above from Leviticus.  It is in two parts but has the same message--don't hate; love.  The first part of this verse informs us that we are to reprove another believer if we see grave error.  To not do so is hatred; furthermore, to see a friend or loved one in sin and allow them to go along in the delusion that it is OK is not seen by GOD as love.  An attitude that does not speak out against things that destroy is deceit plain and simple.  Is deceit love?  Think on the message of the following verses for just a moment:

Open rebuke is better than secret love.  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:5-6

He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.  Proverbs 28:23

Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.  Psalm 141:5

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  Matthew 18:15

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. Luke 17:3

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Galatians 6:1

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.   2 Timothy 2:4

There are many more, but these are enough to prove the point--are they not?

The second portion of Leviticus 19:17 gives us the reason for loving another enough to share a sharp rebuke.  Sin brings suffering.  To see someone struggling along with a sin which often dulls their senses and blinds their reasoning is to allow the effects of their error to hurt them or others they are associated with.  

Just imagine that you lived in ancient Israel and had knowledge that King David was about to commit adultery with Bathsheba.  Should you have confronted him?  Think for a moment.  What sort of suffering came from that one sin?  David murdered Uriah, as well as many other good soldiers who rushed the walls of Rabbah (see 2 Samuel 11:17 as more than Uriah died that day).  Think of the suffering of those families.  What about the death of the child, the rape of Tamar, the embarrassment brought by Absalom and Ammnon?  All of these events, and others, are directly related to that one sin.  So, in time, do you not think David would have been thankful?  

This post was intended to get to a prophetic verse from Hosea as GOD reveals that a people who will not take rebuke are already under judgment.  Many today consider anyone who lovingly rebukes another as being a hate monger while God sees it as an act of love.  The problem is that too many are focused on what the world says and not what "Thus saith the LORD."  Think about what the world is saying.  Just this week we saw a group put up billboards that said Jesus promotes hate and calls it love.  What would you expect the world to say?  Come out from among them and be ye separate.

I do know that there are those who are hateful and feel it is their mission to be a judgmental prude.  That happens. As an example, I knew a lady who believed that God gave her the spiritual gift of pastoral rebuke--no joke.  I am not talking about Pharisaical hypocrisy!  This is about those friends and loved ones who see the potential danger in our actions, and who warn us in a spirit of love.  More on this later.  Until then, keep your eyes skyward and your ears perked.  Jesus Christ is Soon2Come!

Hate or Love?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2 Corinthians 4:3-5

The Bible is clear.  Mankind has a very real and malevolent enemy who continually seeks to destroy.  Jesus said of this enemy that He comes to steal, kill, and destroy while He, Jesus, comes to give abundant life (John 10:10).  Paul, as shared above, pointed to Satan's ability to blind men's minds.  The sole purpose is to keep them from the cross as it is the only means of salvation.  The devil only wants to keep men from God, and he is working overtime to do it in these last days.

It is always important to remember the tactics of the enemy. Let's take today's hot button issue, homosexual marriage, as an example. What is the devil's purpose in justifying this sin (or any sin for that matter)? It is to destroy for eternity. If a person is convinced that their sin is normal behavior or that it is not wrong in God's eyes, they feel no need to repent and seek restoration with God. To them, it is not wrong, so why do they need a savior? Satan has effectively hid the gospel. 

I give no pretense nor place to hide. Homosexuality is sin and it needs God's forgiveness in Christ. Yet, the destroyer of men's souls wishes our "enemies" to think that it is ok. This is why Jesus always asked us to pray for our "enemies" as He does not enjoy sending them to destruction; furthermore, He wishes that all would repent and be saved. As proof, consider the words the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet, Ezekiel.  "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?"  Or consider the words given by inspiration to Simon Peter.  "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Another trick is to make our opinions or the opinions of others replace GOD.  This makes them an idol.  All belief systems, including atheism, require faith to be placed somewhere. As such, they become idols when they rise against the Word of GOD. Our problem is that we are in a pluralistic, materialistic, and relativistic society which is clearly in the process of casting the word of GOD aside. In essence, the Post-modern culture is saying that there is no clear, ultimate truth and every culture and religion seems to have portions of truth. The fact is that there is a solid truth that cannot be altered, changed, nor broken. It was clearly defined by Jesus who, by His life, death, and resurrection, has proven Himself to be the authority. His miracles, ministry, and life are clearly indicators of His qualifications. Even His contemporary critics had to work hard to explain away His power, but their attempts only made it evident that He is who He claimed to be–God our Savior.

 Just a reminder, Truth is true even if no one believes it, and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it! This means that many are choosing to place their faith in their own opinions and theories while discrediting and discounting God and His word. Men place faith somewhere, for instance, Dawkins places His faith squarely in Darwinistic evolution all the while maligning the Lord. Man is by nature a creature of faith. He has to trust in something. Why not trust the Word of God that lasts forever and has infallible evident proofs like an empty grave, a 100 percent accuracy at prophecy, historically validated evidence, and more? Not to mention the thousands of changed lives of those who wholeheartedly gave themselves to Christ and the word. 

Don't become willfully blinded.  Our true enemy is working overtime because he knows his time is limited.  He knows he has an abyssal appointment and then a long swim in the lake of fire.  He also knows that Jesus Christ is Soon2Come,  Do you?

Speaking of Poor Souls Blinded

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Clash of Worldviews--Without the WORD

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Jude 1:10
If you have ever shared the truth with someone only to find that they seemed to be speaking a different language with respect to morality, it may be that they are.  The underlying issue is the world view from which they are basing their life.  Both Simon Peter and Jude mention that in the last days a pervasive worldview would arise that had men acting like natural brute beasts.  The Greek word zoon that is translated as beast simply means that they are acting like animals who follow base instincts.  Compare this to the word used for both the Antichrist and the False Prophet--therion.  This word implies a wild and ferocious animal.  In the use of both, there is the idea that men in the last days will be driven by their own fleshly "instincts" over the truth of GOD's word.  This is amazing to note since this is precisely the basis of the naturalistic, evolutionary worldview held by so many.  Sadly, the warnings of scripture clearly show that this idea invades Christ's church and is the structure on which false teachers rest. They deny God's power and presence while they have an empty shell of religion.  It is a form of godliness that denies the power of the Almighty.

At the core of this worldview is the concept that all there is just randomly happened.  All the universe, humanity included, is just a random and chance arrangement of molecules driven by blind forces of nature.  Nature, not GOD, is in control.  Therefore, this world view is anti-supernatural in that it sees no need for a creator nor His agency.  Since there is no God guiding and directing the affairs of the universe, there is also no divine truth--truth being a relative issue.  In essence, God's revelation in the Bible is a lie equivalent to a fairy tale.  Paul chimes in here to note that it is these very folks in the last days who are following fairy tales.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine...And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:3a & 4)."

Jude also warns that this worldview will seemingly have the advantage in the last days.  Since God is a myth, and we are products of nature, we are equal to the animals.  Animals, then, have the same rights as humans.  This is the very scenario that Peter, Jude, Paul and others outlined clearly in scripture.  As we see this dominant worldview, one nearly peculiar to this age, it is a clear sign that we are near the coming of the LORD.  This is also why men are acting like animals.  They have been taught that they are nothing more than a brute beast.  Even animals are treated better.  It is safer to be a whale or a dog than it is being an unborn human!  

Back to the word.  It is always important to remember this statement.  Truth is true even if no one believes it, and a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it!  The word, brute, used in both 2 Peter and Jude in the statement, brute beasts, is interesting.  It is the Greek word, alogos!  The "a" prefix means without.  Logos means the WORD!  This is the definitive statement of those who put faith in godless ideologies, they are without the Word.  This word is a person as well.  Peter's close friend, John, said it best, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1)." Don't put faith in fallible humanity and its limited knowledge.  Trust Jesus, the WORD, as He alone is truth!  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Furthermore, He is Soon2Come! Why not trust Him in the full pardon of your sins today.  Call on Him in prayer, and HE will answer!

Today's Ominous Headlines
Such a peaceful sort!

The Middle East

Disasters and Other Signs

The Approaching Mark and Last Days Tech