Archive for October, 2008

We must realize that the global economic and credit crisis is beyond any “fix” that our government can devise. The words of Jeremiah come to mind:

“For this is the day of the Lord of Hosts, a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Himself on His adversaries” (Jer 46:10).

“In vain you will use many medicines; you shall not be cured. The nations have heard of your shame, and your cry has filled the land; for the mighty man has stumbled against the mighty; they have both fallen together.” (Jer 46:11-12)

“I shall send him wine workers who will tip him over and empty his vessels and break the bottles” (Jer 48:12)

“Joy and gladness are taken from the plentiful field and from the land of Moab; I have caused wine to fail from the wine presses; No one will tread with joyous shouting-not joyous shouting!” (Jer 48:33)

“Your fierceness has deceived you, the pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there” says the Lord. (Jer 49:16)

We must fall on our faces before Almighty God, for the wisdom of our leaders will not be  enough to solve the crisis that is facing the United States financial system. We are running out of options. It is time for us to Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Headlines around the globe are talking more and more about a world-wide fear that is setting in due to financial turmoil. It is not just in our beloved United States. Nations around the world are dealing with a world-wide credit crisis. Everyone in the US thought the TARP rescue would at least stabilize markets, but such has not been the result.

John Jansen

John Jansen

As John Jansen writes this morning:

The moment of good feeling in the money markets which I referenced on Friday has evaporated. My money market source says that the headline news from Europe has overwhelmed the markets and fear is once again ascendant. In addition to the widely disseminated headlines, there are other stories percolating below the surface which have also contributed to the dire glum mood.

His article is titled “Ascendant Fear”.

Fear is one of the indicators which Jesus used to point toward the last days.

“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

There is much distress of nations because of climate changes, climactic events and a sea of financial woes that are roaring in waves upon their shores. People are indeed fainting with fear and are distressed at what is coming on the world. God is doing a shaking. God’s Heavenly Throne is at work. He is dealing with the mighty powers of this world.

John Jansen concludes his article with these insightful words:

The conventional wisdom held that the successful passage of the rescue legislation would introduce some stability into the markets. The ink was not dry on the legislation when stocks began to head south again, and in a serious manner. It is beginning to look as though the authorities will need divine intervention to save the day.

My suggestion is that members of the staff at the New York Fed should take some time and trek two blocks south to Our Lady of Victory Church at Pine and William. They should get down on their knees and pray, and then light a candle.

That looks like the only viable solution for now.

God Reigns as EL Elyon

God Reigns as EL Elyon

God is the only solution, but our leaders will never admit that. The words of Psalms 2 ring true about the nations of this world:

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psa 2:1-12)

God has already set in motion the world events which will usher in His Son being established as the King of this world. He is laughing even now at our feeble attempts to stabilize the world-wide economic crisis. The Psalmist warns the rulers of earth to serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. They should kiss the Son, lest He be angry. That will be the only fear which will be acceptable to Almighty God, El Elyon, who reigns from on high.

John Jansen surmises that the solution is to pray and light a candle. Instead, we should pay attention to Psalms 2, and approach the Son with fear and trembling. We should bow before Him, Jesus Christ, and Kiss Him!

During this crisis, I am praying that many will turn to Him. However, I know that most will stiffen their necks and try to figure it out according to man’s wisdom. I am afraid that will not work this time. God is setting events in motion which will eventually lead to a world-wide leader with Satanic powers. He will convince the nations that only he has the solution that our economies need.

Our Redemption Draws Nigh

Our Redemption Draws Nigh

It is time for us to straighten up and lift our heads, for our redemption draws nigh!

If Sarah Palin and John McCain do not win the Presidential race, I think Sarah Palin could make an excellent living doing commercials. Remember the “Where’s the Beef” commercial for Wendy’s? Clara Peller made a great living with her “Where’s the Beef?” I love Sarah Palin’s “Say it ain’t so Joe!”

In fact I want to start using that expression against anyone who makes an outrageous or stupid assertion (like Joe Biden did many times).

Today I am saying “Say it ain’t so Joe” to Be-Asia McKerracher.

Be-Asia McKerracher

Be-Asia is a contributor to the Kansas City Star Faith Walk column. She had a little piece in the 10/3/2008 FYI section of the Star titled: “Righteousness lines my path to athiesm”. Here is an excerpt that raised a “SHOUTOUT” from my mudpreacher heart:

“So how did I become an atheist? I remember sitting in class one morning when a thought popped into my head: I had never read the Bible. How could that be? How could I — born and raised a Christian — never have read the Bible? Sure, I’d heard bits and pieces of it in church all the time, but, like most Americans, that’s where my knowledge ended.

And so the Good Book and I spent some much needed time together. What a shock! The Bible I had heard as a little girl was so different from the Bible I read as a young woman. The Scriptures that once sounded so beautiful, kind and perfect to my ears now seemed mean and sad and — to me, a young woman of 23 — deeply unfair.”

What is “UNFAIR”

Webster defines unfair as “marked by injustice, partiality, or deception. In a related definition it says “not equitable in business dealings”. I went for a 25 mile bike ride this morning, thinking about why she would find the Bible unfair. I wanted to know what God thought about that and he just pointed me to His Son. I got this overwhelming sense that if anyone should cry out “UNFAIR” it should be God and not Be-Asia.

Then I read these verses in Hebrews 2:6-9 (Phillips NT)

But someone has said: ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honour, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet’. Notice that the writer puts “all things” under the sovereignty of man: he left nothing outside his control. But we do not yet see “all things” under his control. What we actually see is Jesus, after being made temporarily inferior to the angels (and so subject to pain and death), in order that he should, in God’s grace, taste death for every man, now crowned with glory and honour. It was right and proper that in bringing many sons to glory, God (from whom and by whom everything exists) should make the leader of their salvation a perfect leader through the fact that he suffered. For the one who makes men holy and the men who are made holy share a common humanity. So that he is not ashamed to call them his brothers, for he says: ‘I will declare your name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to you’.

We were Crowned with Glory & Honor

God gave man (including Be-Asia) everything. We were crowned with glory and honor, stewards of His creation. Yet, as the Bible reveals elsewhere, man rebelled and followed Satan and sin. In order to restore this glory and honor to mankind, Jesus, God’s only Son, tasted death for every man. Through His victory on the cross, Jesus is now crowned with Glory and Honor, and enables mankind to share in His glory and honor as the Captain of our Salvation. Jesus is not ashamed to call us His brothers.

Jesus Tasted Death for all Mankind

Jesus Tasted Death for all Mankind

Now to me this does not seem to be “marked by injustice, partiality, or deception”. God wants all of mankind to enjoy that which He created us for-His presence and glory. God established His boundaries for mankind and was open and honest about the consequences of crossing those boundaries. He did not deceive us, nor was He partial or unjust. Jesus Christ tasted death for ALL of mankind, even those who deny God’s existence.

Is it Fair?

Is it fair for Be-Asia to take the gift that God has offered her, the precious gift of God’s own Son, and shake her fist at Him, spit in His face, and deny He ever existed as the Son of God? Is it fair to God, who endured the agony of seeing His Son take on the sins of the world, the sins of Be-Asia, only to hear her and others curse at Him and ignore and even resent His intrusion into their lives? Such a response by Be-Asia and others who deny God’s love and sacrifice smacks of great injustice. They are the ones who are unfair.

Be-Asia concludes her remarks with this proud statement:

These were my accomplishments, my good choices, and I’d made them on my own. After years of struggle, I had decided that being a righteous person did not require a belief in God.

Now comes the response that Be-Asia would probably call unfair. In Romans 2:5-11 (NLT) God is very clear about ‘righteousness’:

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

Many believe they can live a righteous life apart from God. However, God will reveal His Righteous Judgment someday, and that judgment will be based upon whether we have sought and found the “Glory and Honor and Immortality” that is found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no true righteousness apart from Jesus Christ. Be-Asia and countless others are simply living for themselves. They are living lives of wickedness. They are storing up God’s judgment and wrath for the injustice they have committed against God and His Gift to them-the life of His only Son.

Being fair also involves being equitable in business transactions. God is very “fair” when it comes o business. He simply states that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus His Son. If you continue to live in your sins you will receive an equitable wage-death and eternal separation from a Holy Righteous God. However, if you receive the Gift of Forgiveness through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, you will receive the Gift of Salvation and Eternal Life. That is a very fair and equitable business transaction. Where is the unfairness in that?

Does Jesus have power to transform lives?

Does Jesus have power to transform lives?

I have a real problem with the reality and power of Jesus Christ when it comes to the corruption that is in this world through lust. Christians are tolerating evil to the point that evil and immorality are no longer frowned upon or spoken against, even from the pulpit. Does the Holy Spirit of God stir up the saints anymore? Do we just shake our heads and mutter something like “What is this world coming to?”. Where is our righteous indignation, our table tossing zeal for the Holiness of God and the transforming power of the gospel of Christ? I would venture that a majority of Christians have allowed the world to flavor our concept of sin and what is allowable. We are an excusing nation of Christians.

Divorce, sexual immorality, temporal values, drunkenness, homosexuality have become accepted and tolerated in mainstream Christianity. We still draw the line at child pornography but our condemnation of sexual perversion is becoming weaker and weaker. I fear that someday soon even that line will be crossed. Our society is changing, Christianity is changing, our tolerance for sin is changing. Righteousness is being re-defined. Evil is wearing a mask, and Christians are being deceived.

Christians are being deceived

Christians are being deceived

I have enjoyed songs by Ray Boltz. His 1994 song “Thank You” is one of my favorites. My sister Angie sang it at my Dad’s funeral in 1995. There wasn’t a dry eye in the sanctuary as we all thought about the impact my Dad had upon their lives. That is what the song is all about-“changed lives”:

Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am a life that was changed
Thank you for giving to the Lord
I am so glad you gave

Now Ray Boltz has admitted he is homosexual.

He's been gay all along

Ray has been gay all along

I assume that means a practicing homosexual. We are all sinners. But John in his first epistle says there is a problem if we are practicing sinners. Jesus Christ is not just some feel-good guy who loves everybody and accepts everybody no matter how they live. We often see Jesus as the guy who partied with sinners and drunks, so that means he loves everyone. But we forget that Jesus was the Great Physician. We forget that Jesus called them “sick”. We forget that Jesus came to heal sin-sick sinners. We gloss over the need for repentance, for turning to righteousness, the righteousness that Jesus lived.

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV)

The Apostle John cautions us:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of 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 of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:1-6 (NKJV)

We need to follow the Holy Spirit in order to be able to test the spirits. We need the Holy Spirit in order to see and resist the spirit of the Antichrist. We need the Holy Spirit, for greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world. John says we are of God! Those that are of God will hear the Word and heed its call. Those who do not listen are not of God. Here is what Paul said about Christians and our attitude toward the Holy Spirit and immorality:

1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (NKJV)

God desires all Christians to be SANCTIFIED – set apart. We must know how to possess our vessel in sanctification and honor, not in the passion of lust. God has called us to holiness, not uncleanness. Anyone who rejects that call rejects God, because God has given Christians the Holy Spirit.

Can a Follower of Christ who has been born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit be a practicing homosexual, or a practicing adulterer, or a practicing sexual pervert, or a practicing fornicator? Would God tolerate such behavior of His own Son, Jesus Christ? NO! Jesus would have failed in His mission to conquer sin, to become our Sinless Adam. God’s judgment would have been upon Him. He would have rotted in the grave. Paul makes it clear that those who reject the work of the Holy Spirit in their life reject God Himself. Could such a person who continually rejects God have been born again by the Holy Spirit? Read what the Apostle John wrote:

4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:4-10 (NASB)

John says that it should be obvious who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are.

Another song that Ray Boltz wrote is “Sinner’s Prayer”

Lord, You’ve touched my heart today
That is why I’ve come to pray
You see all I have inside
All the things I try to hide

Jesus, I believe that You are there
And You’re listening
To this sinner’s prayer
Touch this broken heart and make it new
I believe in You

Please forgive me for my sin
All I’ve done and all I’ve been
Serving You forevermore
Everyday You’ll be my Lord

Jesus, I believe that You are there
And You’re listening
To this sinner’s prayer
Knowing You’ll remember
What You’ve heard
I believe Your word

In Your name this prayer will end
And a new life will begin
Now I know I’m not alone
Hold my hand and lead me home

Ray says he has been a homosexual all along. He is saying that Jesus lives in his Homosexual heart. Jesus tolerates, accepts and loves his homosexuality. Believers everywhere shake their heads and say once again “What is this world coming to?”

What we should be doing is proclaiming the righteousness of God.

Jesus came to heal the sick. According to God’s Word, homosexuality is sick. Jesus was not a homosexual. He did not come to embrace homosexuality. He came to heal the sin-sick souls of this world. He came to transform lives corrupted by the lust of this world. He came to empower us to live victorious lives. The struggle against sin has been won by Jesus Christ! True Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life, if we abide in Jesus and His Word! Those who are born again must claim that power and lift high the banner of a Righteous Jesus Christ. True Christians must do as Ray wrote in his 1998 song “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb”:

By His Stripes We Are Healed

By His Stripes We Are Healed

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb

I have heard how Christians long ago
Were brought before a tyrant’s throne
They were told that he
Would spare their lives
If they would renounce
The name of Christ
But one by one they chose to die
The Son of God, they would not deny
Like a great angelic choir sings
I can almost hear their voices ring

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb

Now the years have come
And the years have gone
And the cause of Jesus still goes on
Now our time has come
To count the cost
To reject this world
To embrace the Cross

And one by one let us live our lives
For the One who died to give us life
Till the trumpet sounds on the final day
Let us proudly stand and boldly say

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb

To the Lamb of God who bore my pain
Who took my place
Who wore my shame
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb

We must honor the commands of Christ. We must dedicate our lives to embracing His Cross, regardless of the cost. We must reject this world and all of its perversions and upside-down thinking. We must heed the call of God to be Holy and Set Apart! We can love homosexuals, and pray for their redemption. But the cross means death to who you are. Coming to Christ means dying to sin and self and living in the power of the Righteous, Life-Changing Jesus Christ! And Jesus was no homosexual!