Archive for July, 2015

Blessing Turning Into A Curse

Well the 4th of July celebrations are winding down. It has been a day of fun, fellowship, and reflection about the course our country is on. Generously dotted among the phrases we have heard today is the ever-popular “God bless America”, and with good reason. When it comes to God, you want His blessing headed our way. But my spirit has been troubled and I believe we are either on the brink, or have entered into a season of judgment for our national sins and utter disregard for God. Take a look at what the prophet Malachi had to say to his own people who assumed that because of their national citizenship they had the blessing of God. 

“And now this commandment is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,” says the LORD of hosts, “then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. (‭Malachi‬ ‭2‬:‭1-3‬ NASB, emphasis mine).

This nation has been privileged like no other nation before it with freedom of religion and has been a bastion of Christian preaching, education, and missionary zeal. But over the last decades, we have wandered into godless territory. We have the blood of over 55 million babies on our hands. We have, as a society, slipped down the slope of moral relativism into a quagmire of sin that was unimagined 75 years ago. We have set up idols of wealth, fame, and success and worshipped them. It is as if we are bowing in front of mirrors saying “my kingdom come, my will be done, on earth, in spite of Heaven.”And we have reached a point where God in in sovereign justice will have no choice but to judge us for our national crimes.

When any people reach this point in their spiritual lethargy, our spoken blessing of God, and the very blessings we have received from God, are turned into a curse! Every time we presume upon the blessing of God without thought of repentance, our blessing is a slap in the face of Divine Justice. We have gotten beyond the position of just needing to say, “America, bless God”. Without another Great Awakening characterized by true national repentance, our blessings which have turned into cursing will not open the windows of Heaven for a blessing, but rather are storing up wrath for the Day of Wrath. Just as Malachi relayed from God, we will be thrown out like yesterday’s garbage.

Enough of feel good, self help, commercialized, WIIFM (what’s in it for me) Christianity! Be done with playing religious games and marketing the church to the world. Quit using carnal means to attract carnal people so we can get them to say the magic words and sign a card. We must go from being seeker sensitive to being Jesus sensitive! Judgment begins at the house of God, and repentance needs to begin there as well.  

I, for one, am going to stop saying “God bless America” and substitute “God save America” in its place. I don’t know how many birthdays our nation has left, but we as the church must do all we can to allow the Holy Spirit once again to cleanse us and empower us by grace to be a light set on a hill that shows the path back to God. If we shirk this duty, the Sovereign of the Universe and and will hold us responsible! 

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (‭1 Peter‬ ‭4‬:‭17‬ NASB) 

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Wishing For Living Idols

First of all, the seed of an idea that the Lord planted in my mind for this post came from hearing a short portion of a Sunday sermon from last week by Pastor Scott Hagan from Real Life Church in Sacramento. Not only is he spot on, but we graduated from high school together, so he must be cool, too! 

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (‭Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭4-6‬ NKJV)

Idolatry. Perhaps no other sin is as universally condemned in Scripture as idol worship. A curse came with making something with men’s hands and worshipping it. No matter the quality of the workmanship, and how fervently you hope and dance and cut yourself and worship, that idol will never be the Living God. It just won’t happen.

But that is precisely what is going on right now with the gay “marriage” debate. People are using logic, law, and doing everything in their power to make same-sex marriages a reality. But the truth is, that no matter how many marches, and court decisions and laws that human beings pass, it will never be a REAL marriage. Here’s why. 

and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭5‬ NKJV)

God made this principle clear in Genesis, and jesus quoted it here in Matthew. He made the principle clear. Man joined to wife equals one flesh. But just to make sure we don’t miss it, Jesus says this in the very next verse. 

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

Did you catch that? The husband and wife don’t join themselves together, nor does a minister join them. God is the one who makes the two of them one flesh as husband and wife! No matter how people hope and pray and litigate and legislate, anything other than this has not been joined together by God and is therefore not a marriage. And my opinion and your opinion have no bearing on the matter! To teach otherwise is to make a God in our own image, and have Him do what we wish Him to do. But that amounts to idolatry, and brings a curse instead of the desired blessing!

So what are we to do? We are to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). And know this; you cannot speak a lie in the love. God is love, and He cannot lie. Satan is the father of lies, and has no love in him. In fact, the most spiritually dangerous thing we could ever do is to speak a lie and attribute it to God! No, the most loving thing we can do is to tell the truth about same-sex marriage with as much love and compassion as we can. But it must be grounded in truth! 

We must show our love by proclamation of the truth laid down by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭9-10‬ NKJV)

But we are to do so humbly and in love, knowing that we all have besetting sins which we all fight on a daily basis. We must tell of the power of God to deliver anyone from the grip of the strongest sin! Our faith and our message must rest, not on human wisdom, but on the delivering power of God. That’s why Paul goes on to say this:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬ NKJV) 

We must hold out this message of hope and deliverance to anyone and everyone who will listen, homosexual, heterosexual, or anyone else! Without altering the Word of God or lowering His standards, we must tell the world that Christ came to save sinners, so that qualifies each of us for His salvation. We are not judging anyone. We are letting them know that God has already judged everyone, including them, and that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8-9‬ NKJV) 

When this is our message, we will be the God honoring, Christ exalting, Gospel spreading, disciple making, and people loving Church that we are commissioned to be in this World! 

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