Friday, August 28, 2009

What Am I Called To Do?

As I begin today, my Spirit is heavy with how to approach this subject. There are many Christians who may be offended by this blog. Here is why. There are preachers today who are preaching false doctrine. Instead of preaching the literal interpretation of the Bible, they continue to align themselves with false doctrines. The danger with this is that many "buy" what they are "selling." They love what they hear from these false prophets are teaching and they do not want to hear anybody speak against "God's annointed." Who said that they were "God's Annointed?" Jesus taught that there would be false prophets. (Matt 7:14, Matt 24:24, Mk 13:22; 2Peter 2: 1)

The Bible tells us that we are to test every Spirit. 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;" The only way to effectively test a Spirit is by knowing the person of the Holy Spirit and studying the Word of God. Because a "person" preaches in a large church or basketball sized stadium and has a large "following" does not mean that they are preaching the Gospel!! We should follow those who follow Christ and His teachings, not motivational speakers of false doctrine.

Read Mark 13 in its entirety and you will gain knowlege regarding what Jesus has to say about what to expect in the last days. In verses 21-23, He stated "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance." Christ knew that even well meaning Christians could be led astray by false prophets.

You might be wondering where am I going with all of this, so I will tell you. When I sensed God's calling to preach the Gospel, I knew that if I was going to stand before people and proclaim the Word, that I needed to have a better understanding of the Bible. Isn't interesting that preaching is the only "profession" where many believe that no training is necessary. I then asked several Ministers for advice as to what college I should attend. Several of them strongly advised me not to go schools that did not teach a literal interpretation of the Bible, eventhough some of them had attended and graduated from these colleges. Their reasoning for this advice was very interesting. Some of these Seminaries teach based on their religious affiliation (ex. Pentecostal, Presbytarian, Baptist etc.) which in some instances, are in contradiction to the literal meaning of the Scriptures. Luther Rice Seminary and University, that I chose to attend is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but their Theology-(Study of God) is based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, which at times did conflicted with some long-held Southern Baptist "doctrines/traditions". I will expound on these differences in another post. As a result of going to college I learned that prior to going, that I really had no clue about the real meaning of the Bible. I had never heard any preacher explain the everlasting covenant that God made with Israel. I learned that it does not create a problem for a Christian to understand God's plan for Israel, His covenant that came through Jesus Christ dying on the cross and His Promise for all of mankind. I gained knowledge in understanding the History of God which helps me to appreciate the present and His future plans. I also learned that as long as I live, I will never stop learning more about the Bible and The God of the Bible!!!

I can identify with the following Scripture. I knew the Lord, before going to Seminary, but I needed to know the Scriptures more accurately in order to preach it correctly.

Acts 18:24-28: 24 "Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; 26 and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27 And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace, 28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ."

Finally, I ask those of you who will read this to pray with me as I do what I am called to do. As you continue to read my blog please know that I want to help you too, to understand the Scriptures more accurately. Allow yourselves to be like the Bereans in Acts 18, as they searched the Scriptures to see if what they were hearing was lining up with Scripture--then they believed. It is after all what we are supposed to do.

Be Blessed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Are you disobeying God?

In the following Scripture we will see the people of Israel, God's people being disobedient. Are we anything like these people? I pray not, yet we have these words recorded so that we may know that there are consequences for not following the Word of God. They heard the word of the Lord and debated that after they begun to follow God, things were harder for them, but when they worshipped the Queen of Heaven they were better off. Is it not true that many believe that Christianity is hard and that they were better when then followed Satan? What a ridiculous assertion.!! Christians should look at the people of Israel and know that when we follow God's Word, we will suffer persecution, but that's only half of the story. We will also receive the blessings of God. So while it may seem that life got more difficult in Christ, think of what He did for us on the cross and thank Him. Would you rather be disobedient to God and suffer His wrath? I think not. Yet, many people today continue to thumb their noses at the Bible and defiantly conclude not to obey His Word. May God help them. (Please read concluding statement)

Jeremiah 44: 11-30-11 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I am going to set My face against you for woe , even to cut off all Judah. 12 'And I will take away the remnant of Judah who have set their mind on entering the land of Egypt to reside there, and they will all meet their end in the land of Egypt; they will fall by the sword and meet their end by famine. Both small and great will die by the sword and famine; and they will become a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation and a reproach. 13 'And I will punish those who live in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine and with pestilence. 14 'So there will be no refugees or survivors for the remnant of Judah who have entered the land of Egypt to reside there and then to return to the land of Judah, to which they are longing to return and live; for none will return except a few refugees.' " 15 Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, along with all the women who were standing by, as a large assembly, including all the people who were living in Pathros in the land of Egypt, responded to Jeremiah, saying, 16 "As for the message that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you! 17 "But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths, by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, just as we ourselves, our forefathers, our kings and our princes did in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and saw no misfortune . 18 "But since we stopped burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have met our end by the sword and by famine." 19 "And," said the women, "when we were burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven and were pouring out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?"

20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and women—even to all the people who were giving him such an answer—saying, 21 "As for the smoking sacrifices that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your forefathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them and did not all this come into His mind ? 22 "So the LORD was no longer able to endure it, because of the evil of your deeds, because of the abominations which you have committed; thus your land has become a ruin, an object of horror and a curse, without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 "Because you have burned sacrifices and have sinned against the LORD and not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, His statutes or His testimonies, therefore this calamity has befallen you, as it has this day." 24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt, 25 thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, as follows: 'As for you and your wives, you have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, "We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her." Go ahead and confirm your vows, and certainly perform your vows!' 26 "Nevertheless hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "As the Lord GOD lives." 27 'Behold, I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they are completely gone. 28 'Those who escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah few in number. Then all the remnant of Judah who have gone to the land of Egypt to reside there will know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs. 29 'This will be the sign to you,' declares the LORD, 'that I am going to punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for harm.' 30 "Thus says the LORD, 'Behold, I am going to give over Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt to the hand of his enemies, to the hand of those who seek his life, just as I gave over Zedekiah king of Judah to the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and was seeking his life.' "

These examples should encourage us to persevere no matter what. God is truly merciful, but He is also just. He does not reward disobedience, rather He will punish those who are not obedient to His Word. What would we be without the Word of God??? We would be lost. But, we do have His Word recorded for us in the Holy Bible to read, follow and to learn from so that we may be encouraged that all hope is not lost. We gave us His Word to read each day. We must never debate whether or not it is good to follow God's Word. His Word is good because He is good. The best medicines tastes very bad, but the results from taking them are good. Be encouraged today to Love Him enough to follow His Word so that you too may experience the good results, His Peace and His Joy that is everlasting.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Church has Left the Building

I began this post on August 12, 2009, and immediately was distracted. That day God had allowed me to experience a divine appointment to share Christ. I truly felt that I was engaging once again in evangelizing the lost. For this reason, I entitled this post, The "Church has left the building." I found myself understanding more and more that I do more ministry outside of the "church building." So many Christians leave the church building every week and turn off their Christianity. I do not understand how it is possible to misunderstand that Christianity is not just religion but a relationship with Christ, which should lead us to be Christ followers. The Holy Spirit is deposited in each of us at Salvation. We then become a members of the universal church, the Body of Christ. The Church has left the building, means that you and I who call ourselves Christians should be mindful that we take His name with us wherever we go. We were called to go out into the world and be witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Matt 28:19-20) When we say that we are Christians, we must be ready and willing to testify of His goodness wherever we go, everyday. We cannot continue to be Sunday "saints" and weekday "aints." We must remember to be the church that has left the building each day. Ministry and giving glory to God is not just a church thing, it is a lifestyle. It must be something all of us DO. God deserves All the glory. How DO we glorify Him when we do not love our brothers and sisters? 1 John 4:19-21 states, 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. Your brothers and sisters, are not only those in the church building. They are those who Christ died for, ALL people. Although each person is responsible for his own soul, we must always be cognizant that someone is watching our walk and hearing our talk. What are they seeing? What are they hearing us say? Are we aware that our actions are important? We must never be the stumbling block to a brother or sister that keeps them from following Christ. This includes not judging them. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are the tools, God uses to convict all mankind of sin. He needs us to speak His Word in love, not condemnation. Romans 14:12-13: So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way. We must see all people as people that God sent His Son to die for or we would never tell them the good news of the Gospel.

Be encouraged today, to BE the "Church" that has left the building.