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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Be Thou Holy!

Be Thou Holy

Romans 2:
1 Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judges another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things.
2 And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that practise such things.
3 And reckonest thou this, O man, who judgest them that practise such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (ASV)

Today, it is very difficult to tell the Christian from the world, it should not be so. Just as it states in verse one of Romans 2, we, the Christians, are without excuse. We go into the church building on Sunday, carrying our 10 pound Study Bibles that although they are ten years old, they appear as brand new. If we look inside they are even more impressive, not so much as a pencil mark or a smudge on the pages. And then we run around and instead of making ourselves available to answer questions that the prostitute and the drug dealer might have, we push them aside and condemn them to Hell for eternal suffering.

Am I suggesting that they are not bound for Hell? Certainly not! Am I then suggesting that we not judge good from evil? Again, I say no! We are given the Great Commission and it is not a great suggestion. When we were without hope, before we made Jesus our Master we were slaves to sin and there was nothing we could have ever done to defeat it, sin was our master and the 613 laws of God taught us to identify why God would have no part with us. For that reason, the Son of God descended from His Throne and lived with us for about 33 years and sacrificed His sinless body. God, Himself, paid the deb we owed and the moment we accepted the receipt for that payment we were purchased and we are now the Bond Slaves of God.

“But,” you say, “I never even dealt with a hooker, let alone be one.” Remember the Ten Commandments? Not one single man has ever lived his or her life on this earth and has managed to not break one of the ten. Add to that the other six hundred and three and then realize that when you stole that candy-bar at the age of six, without knowing it, you broke God's Law and since all of the Law is one unit, you are guilty of breaking all of it. There is no sliding scale that renders one offense to be more serious than the others, sin is just that... sin! Our mission is Matthew 28:18 – 20. We are not to beat folks up with our heavy study Bibles, no, we are to look on them and our judgment is to discern the sinner form the saved man and the religious fanatic and to befriend them and to help them find the foot of the cross, just as someone, at some point in our lives did for us.

So, I ask you, is a run-away, disobedient slave any less a sinner than the wino or the hooker? They are still slaves to the Law that condemns them and we, God's Bond Servants have the freedom to refuse to sin any more. They, without our help, have no choice, the Law has already condemned them and except that we come along side of them and be willing to assist them they will spend eternity in Hell. I do not know who said it but someone once suggested that everyone of us should preach every day of our lives and if required, even use words to do so.

In Romans, chapt. 6, we learn that we have not only the choice to live a righteous life but we go on to verse one of chapter 12 and we find that it is our reasonable service to do so. If we live a ood life in the midst of a world filled with sin, people not only notice that we are different, they want to know why we are able to be that way, then you can speak and not offend anyone because they asked you to explain. So my advise comes right from the Word of God. Stop carrying that big leather bound Bible around for looks and begin to study and to do s with prayer for God to teach you to be more like Him, He'll do that, I know from experience. There once lived a man on the north side of Houston known as Cowboy Bill and he turned from his path of sins and God made him into Bill Taylor, Bond Servant of the Most Holy God.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Can the Bible be trusted?

I have oft been asked this question and just today answered it once more.

... I'm known as something of a stickler on what I'm about to say and that would be because I really am. There are many religions and religious factions and I will always teach that any of them are good for getting one into Hell. I am a Baptist by religion just as you were raised a Lutheran. The catch here is that there will be no Baptists and there'll be no Lutherans in Heaven. What we'll find in Heaven are Christians and a Christian, today, is a very convoluted term. A Christian, the ones that go to Heaven, are the few that have established an on going relationship with God.
... Why is that important to your question? The Christian is not only in an on going conversation with God but is indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. (Jon 7:37-39) So you see, from the natural man's point of view, I must say that I do not know but from the Spirit driven man it is obvious to us that the words of the scriptures are the Word of God because the Spirit testifies of the truth of the Word to us.
... For the natural man, that has not completely surrendered his life to God, it would seem to me that there would be only one path to ever understanding the truth of God's Word, the same path that I took to get here. I first had to come to the understanding that God is. From that point forward God built my faith and has remained with me through everything.
... I am often confronted with the idea that the Bible has been translated and retranslated, over and over and for this reason can not be accurate. Being a person that has traveled the world I know the problems with languages and understand where this complaint comes from. There is just one problem with this idea and it is a monster problem. The God that inspired this book and the translation of it is the Immutable, Omnipotent God that spoke and the Universe sprung into being... from nothing. To believe that God can not keep His word secure from the secretaries He used to write it and from the translators He inspired to translate it into the languages is to believe in an impotent god that is no more powerful than the stone and wooden gods along the path in the gardens of Japan.
... I pray that this helps you to grow closer to God and that God will pour out a blessing you cannot contain because of your faith in Him.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How Can I Know The LORD?

I was asking this question in 1989 and a Christian, just a little younger than myself began to instruct me in finding the answer. Because of David Keeton wanting nothing more than to serve God as His bond servant and his willingness to be subjected to ridicule inside the shop, I drew closer and closer to my LORD, until I also burned with that same desire to serve the Master. From watching David that year I learned a great deal about being God's servant.

I walked away from an audience that thought I was cooler than ice-cream and became the man everyone loved to make fun of. Needless to say, but I lost everyone of the people that had befriended me and immediately began a brand new life. You see, like David, I figured that there was nothing that I should not be willing to do to help others to open that door into the Throne Room. Just as was the case, pre-1990, today, there are far to few “Christians” that are willing to share their faith.

It is my experience that there are far to few “Trained Christians” to share their faith in the world today. Now, stop condemning the Pastorate for it's failure, Pastors have a responsibility that is so far beyond the scope and understanding of the average person, that I am struck with awe that some men are called to that ministry at all. I tell you the truth when I say that I would rather be back in my helicopter, manning my machine-gun and killing men to make them stop blowing holes in my aircraft tan t show up at the church, seven days a week and to try to teach all those stricken that in spite of the circumstances they and others have woven into their lives, that God loves them anyway. You see, I knew that all those people down there wanted to kill me but the pastor of the local church has no idea at all the direction that the next attack on his ministry will come from and each and every person that is seated in the church are the subjects of his ministry.

So, who's to train us then? Each and everyone of us, at least those of us in the US, holds the course material in our hands. The course material is the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Each and every one of us is called out of the world, we have been separated from the world by our LORD to be the members of the Believer's Priesthood. (I Peter 2:9) "Each believer is a priest, both before God for oneself and by caring for fellow believers and for persons in the world for whom Christ died." (From We Baptists, James Leo Garrett Jr.) As the members of the Believer's Priesthood it is our duty to teach and to teach we must know the course backwards and forwards. To accomplish that we must read the Bible.

What do we, that work, do during the time we are at work? How can we study then? When I first committed my life to the LORD I discovered a radio station, KHCB, in Houston and they broadcast Jesus twenty-four hours a day. Anytime I could not study, I could by turning my radio on and listening. Many of us do not have a teaching station like that but with today's computer generation anyone, anywhere in the world, can go to and listen any time of the day.

Did I mentioned that I was on fire for God? Well that wasn't the half of it. God took note of my desire to know Him and to know His heart and before I was two years in the faith, still a babe in Christ, He put the call on my heart to teach. Just as I had before I rebelled and told God no. Any man that knew no more than I did had no business teaching anyone. But my pastor, Richard Clark of Mississippi told me that he was hearing from God about me and wanted to know if I had heard anything from God. As we discussed it a huge grin covered his face ad he told me that God had told him where to put me before the Primaries Teacher had announced that she was needing to quit. God wanted me to teach the very subject that I was so busy studying the past two years, Basic Christianity. Between listening to Brother Richard, listening to the Fundamental Christian Teachers on the radio and having to know the answer to a life threatening question by next Sunday, for the peace of mind of a seven year old, I was teaching the Sunday Night Men's Class by the time I was four years in the faith, God had rewarded my hungering for Him and made of me, a useful tool.

In summary, every man and woman in the church that believes and is trusting Jesus, the Christ for their salvation has the right and the obligation to teach the lost world of the love of God and the payment of their debt by our LORD. You see, from where I'm standing it all comes down to just one thing, “How much do you think you aught to love God?” Romans 12 says this;

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Building Straw Men and Persoal Attacks

and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32 ASV)
...When I was an atheist I had two forms of attack that I employed to make the Christian uncomfortable and this caused them to abandon the discussion and I could the declare victory. This only impressed the unlearned but that was my peer group, then. I am worried because most of the people sitting on the pews, on any Sunday, are not saved people and the same two tactics I employed in the sixties have crept into the church.
... One of the methods is to, what I term, build a straw man to ride down on your trusty white steed. This is best done by listeing to what your opponent has not said, accuse him or her of saying or implying it and tear the idea to pieces. The second, favored method, is the personal attack known as killing the messenger. When these two forms of attack they are very effective because the defender must now leave the discussion lying where it is ad defend him or herself while the attacker gloats about the victory accomplished.
... The truth of the matter? The Humble Christian has in fact told the truth and the attacker has damaged their immortal soul. Perform this method of attack often enough on a Christian, successfully, and you will close their mouth...a.k.a. destroy their witness.
... The Christian does not lose their salvation but they are no longer effective tools in the hand of the LORD on the Mission Field that they reside in.
... My point? The followers of Christ must learn the lesson of keeping a tender heart but of having a thick skin. Couple this with te lesson taught in Romans 12:1, become a living sacrifice, and you have a mighty Christian Warrier that, in the hand of God, is used to accomplish the purposes of the Kingdom. We must lear to take heart, even in the face of what the world calls defeat. Actually, I have read the Book al the way through the end and guess what? God wins!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

God's People and The Lost Man

... There are many types of Christians today and there are quite a few different types of seekers in this day. As I have read and understood from my studies in God's Word, our LORD seeks after a man, who like David, seeks after the heart of God. Such a man will be regarded as a peculiar man just as David was in his time. When we examine the men that God has used throughout history, as recorded in the scriptures, we find that God has used men that did not question God. Indeed, the men God has used were men that, on hearing from God, walked away from everything they knew to be secure and safe and they walked into unknown lands, sometimes certain death but they followed God and God used them to perform great feats.

... Today I am often called a fool for believing exactly what God has had preserved for us in the Book of Genesis and all I know to do is to pray for these people, most of them report themselves to be Christian but does God? I don't know but their inability to believe concerns me. I stand in full view of the world as being guilty of having believed every word of the Book of Genesis as fact. These people regard the creation story, at the beginning of Genesis as a metaphor and not as the facts.

... Now, please be certain that some portions of scripture are written metaphorically and we must always read the scriptures carefully, prayerfully and we must meditate upon them constantly but in the Book of Genesis I can find no reason to believe that the theory of evolution nor the theory of the, completely, unscientific big bang should ever bear any weight what-so-ever on the interpretation of the Creation Story, as told my LORD.

... So what does it mean when I report that there are many types of Christians? Today, in America, better than eighty per cent of the people claim to be Christian. Some because they were born to a Christian mom and dad, even though they have nt set a foot into a church for as long as thirty or more years. Some name the name of Christ because their name can be found on he membership listing of a church near their home. Still others claim the Christian title for hundreds of other reasons that matter not to God, so what is a real Christian?

... The real Christian has a duel citizenship and the fact that they are citizens of Heaven bears on every decision they make as they live this life on earth. A real Christian is a servant to the Monarch I Heaven first and forever. A real Christian understands that he is considered a little strange because he or she can believe every word that has and will proceed out of the mouth of God. While there is a stigma attached to following God, the Christian just does not count it worthy on his concern. God has called us to be His people and if we belong to Him we will not meld into the general population. Incidentally, neither will we be overtly abrasive to the people of this world, we are called to be the example to them and not to run around grinding against them.

... In the beginning of this note I also mentioned that seekers are a mixed lot and that bears some explanation. There are a few that have taken the time to address their situation in the manor required by God, they have read some of the scripture and have realized that they are without hope as long as they do not have God for their Master. God will, every time, reveal Himself to these people so that they can make a decision to follow or not to follow Him. Then, on the other hand we have the seeker that is demanding that God reveal Himself and I've yet to see one of them find God.

... Let's dig into that for just a moment. God is not the ruler of Heaven because He was elected by the popular vote. God did not even ascend to power by military campaign nor did He arrive as the King by clever manipulation. You see, God is the reason that everything works the way it does. Without God we would not be, period and until the unbeliever address' God I the manor required by God, God will not respond.