Many Messages

One thing that confuses many people are the mixed messages they get from those that supposedly believe the same group – Christians.

Different denominations, doctrines, and belief’s confuse a lost world, especially when each church quotes from the same book.

One group says baptism is essential to salvation and another group says it isn’t. There are the gifts of the Spirit and whether they exist today or have fulfilled their purpose. Is salvation eternal or can it be lost again. Is there only one chance of salvation in this life or do you get another opportunity after death.
Is the rapture a true event and if it is does it happen before the tribulation, during it, or after it?

No matter what you believe you can find someone that will agree with you.

This is not a unique situation. It is something that the early church had to deal with.

Paul wrote to Timothy saying,

And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 2 Tim 2:17-18

To the Galatians he wrote,

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:6-7

What we don’t have is an Apostle Paul to explain things today. Even if there were there would still be false messages from others that change the message.

I don’t have that answer to all the Christian denominations except to say read the Bible for yourself. Study the message for yourself. Pray about it for yourself.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Rom 12:18

Apologetics – Part 3

Christian apologetics did not come easy for Paul. After his salvation and conversion he was now going to need to build up what he previously had been tearing down.

You will have to do the same. Continue reading

Apologetics – Part 2

Christian apologetics is just another way of saying “defending the faith”. For me, that’s not debating or arguing – it’s an explanation of the scripture, including the Gospel. Continue reading

Treat others with fruit!

I love my wife. She teaches me things.

The other day we were discussing how we discuss things with other people. You have to be careful what you say and to whom you say it.

Someone you believe to be your friend will turn on you when you say something unflattering about another person – even if they agree with what you say.

Her conclusion is to speak things about others that cannot place blame back on yourself.

In Galatians 5:19-21 it speaks of the works of the flesh. Each of these attributes, characteristics, and sins work against you. Get involved with one and you will end up in trouble.

Use them against another person and you are to blame.

Then the next few verses say something totally different.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

When you treat others with any of these characteristics you will never be blamed for doing wrong. There are no laws against these things.

So take the advice of the Bible and my wife – treat others with the fruit of the Spirit and others will never speak ill of you again.

Abba, the fruit of the Spirit is where I want to live each and every day. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Trees

I love trees!

But about eight years ago a storm and straight wind pushed several over around our acreage, including the top of one pine that landed on the house. It was at that time Linda said she wanted every tree cut that could fall on the house.

That task was finally started and finished over the past few days, with the last few trees cut yesterday evening. Fourteen trees in all.

Now had all these been big majestic oaks or a bunch of fruit trees, I would be sad. But every tree was a pine, some as tall as fifty or sixty feet. Pines don’t give a lot of shade and needles and cones fall every where so I don’t count it as a great loss.

You know trees are mentioned throughout the Bible, beginning with the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Noah made an ark from wood cut from trees. Daniel interpreted a dream about a tree that was cut down but the stump remained.

The Psalmist says that anyone that reads and meditates on God’s word,

He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Ps 1:3

It is written how the trees rejoice and praise God.

Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord. Ps 96:12

And the Lord Jesus both cursed a fig tree and was later hung on a tree.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), Gal 3:13

What a sad day it must have been for that tree – that the Creator was killed upon it. But what a day for you to rejoice and praise God because Jesus did die upon that tree and three days later was resurrected.

Abba, Thank You for the sacrifice given on my behalf so that I may no longer live under the curse. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

His Anger

Do you ever feel like God is angry with you? Like you can’t do anything right?

Though God can be a God of anger, it is aimed specifically.

When God told Abraham of His intentions toward Sodom and Gommorah, Abraham began to plead for the cities.

Would God destroy everyone if fifty righteous people could be found? Then forty?

It was here that Abraham said something that seems strange to me.

Gen 18:30 “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”

Why would the Lord be angry at someone for interceding for them – even the exceedingly wicked (Gen 13:13) people of Sodom.

God’s anger is not directed toward good. It is directed at sin.

His anger is not against…

love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23

His anger is not because of prayer and intercession. His anger is not at preaching the Gospel. He is not angry at praise and worship.

He is not angry with those that seek Him with their whole heart.

Abba, though I deserve Your fullest wrath, I am so thankful that You are not angry with me in Jesus name. YES&AMEN

Fruit of the Spirit

Gal 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Over the weekend we had the Fruit of the Spirit VBS. During the first song I remember someone saying, “That’s what I need; self-control!”
My response was you start with love!

The fruit of the Spirit is a staircase.

What you will need first is love! You cannot have kindness or gentleness without it. You can’t have joy or peace if you have hate.

Love is the key – the first step to the fruit of the Spirit.

Self-control is last on the list. Before you will attain it completely you will have to have things like patience, faithfulness, and gentleness. Self-control is not possible without them.

The great thing is the fruit of the Spirit is not dependent on others. You can have it without any help and despite any opposition. It’s all about your personal relationship and availability to the Holy Spirit.

John 15:8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Abba, I want to be an orchard of good fruit for You! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN