Blasphemy

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” – Exodus 20:7

This command does not end just at using God’s name in the form of a curseword. But this command includes any atrocious misuse such as cold blooded murder in the name of God.

I read a news article whereby a man killed a woman all the while screaming “Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!”

This is disgusting. The murderer, essentially put God’s name with evil. Complete blashphemy of the Holy Spirit; associating what is holy with the unclean.

If you’re a skeptic, or an unbeliever, look at Jesus, and compare such actions with the teachings of the Bible. Please do not commit a double standard in judging things of God.

Many skeptics will try to claim that such atrocities are supported in the Bible. Then they will take OT scripture out of context to support their claim.

When God judges, He judges in righteousness. The whole earth was flooded and every human flesh, except Noah’s family in the great boat, were wiped out because of their evil and unbelief (Genesis 6:5). Further in the OT, we see God never left an open ended war against nations (contrary to the religion of Islam). He specifically mentioned the nation by name and called them out for their evil. Judged nations were wiped out for burning their children to idols, sexual immorality and other wicked things. To those He judges, He issues prior warnings, prior commands of what is acceptable. God can see to the heart of man. Take for example Pharoah, Pharoah was rebellious, though God warned. God eventually, removed His hand from Pharoah’s heart. This is what is meant by “God hardened Pharoah’s heart”. We know this by using other scripture. Scripture says God does not tempt anyone (James 1:3), and those who insist on choosing the evil way are given over to a depraved mind (Romans 1:28).

When an atrocity in the name of Jesus is committed, it is easy to dismiss because such actions do not fit with the teachings of YHWH God.

We see how God deals with sin. He has said that the reward for sin is death (Romans 6:23). God is 100% against evil (1 John 1:5). If He supported it in anyway, He would dethrone Himself as God, because He’d no longer be perfect, holy and set apart to be called God. Satan, since pride entered his heart, has been trying to dethrone the name of God. He put God’s character on trial from the time he began to think that he is worthy to be God. Obviously, if we desire someone else’s position, what we are really saying is that we are better suited for the position. Satan was claiming to be worthy to be called God, and God not worthy. So blasphemy is an evil of old.

Woe to those, who misuse the name of Jesus and die in their sin. Since all sin must be accounted for, woe to anyone, who dies in their sin having rejected the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:31, Mark 3:29) Such a person would have sealed their doom. As once you die without Christ, there is no more hope left for you.

I pray that we will look to Jesus.

As Christians, we look and immitate through obedience. Our obedience is our act of love.

Those who claim to be Christians all the while living and delighting in sin to the point that no one knows they are a Christian, no one can see the fruit of Christ, also commit blasphemy. As they misuse or misrepresent Christ’s name. God will not hold them guiltless. Such folks need to truly repent and turn from the path of sin.

As skeptics, please look at Christ and see for yourself that you have not been deceived into judging God under the guise of blasphemers’ behaviour. By doing so, you are essentially in the same camp with them. And God will not hold you guiltless. Please look at Jesus, see His goodness remembering that whatever sin you’re guilty of (Romans 3:23), you too are in need of His forgiveness.

Friends, the verse below identifies our hope, our promise. Christ our hope, eternal life our promise. Do not let defiance against God to be what lingers on your lips, on your heart at the time of natural death, but let it be a surrender to Him, and a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and life eternal.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” – John 3:16-17

Be blessed, in Jesus’ name.

True faith test

choosetolive1
I once read, “resurrection means nothing until salvation is secure”. Spot on! It can be easy to follow the crowd, and say things like “happy resurrection day”. Yet do we know what this even means on a personal level? Who is Christ to us? There is a popular saying that “just like going to McDonald’s doesn’t make us a hamburgers, so too, going to church doesn’t make us Christians”. True again! Paul reminds us time and time again to check ourselves to see if we are right with the Lord.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5

So how do we test ourselves? Well we can start with the obvious:

1. Do we believe Jesus Christ as our only Lord and Saviour for the forgiveness of our sins? Some people believe that their “niceness” will be enough. Comparing themselves to others, such as criminals, puts them in good standings with society. Yet, it isn’t so with God. If we could gain eternity with God through our own efforts, then there would be no need for Christ to go to the cross. Salvation belongs to the Lord! Our goodness is evidence of salvation, but never the means to it.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8

2. Do we believe the Bible as the Word of God? And do we obey His Word or do we cherry pick what scriptures we want to follow?

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

Contrary to the flow of society’s actions, sinning, like sex out of marriage is not approved by Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, the one we claim to be our God and Saviour.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators (sex out of marriage), nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

I once had a friend who thought this meant that no one can go to Heaven based on that scripture from Corinthians. Well, no one can without Christ. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet Jesus Christ is willing to forgive those who REPENT (denouce sin) and put their faith in Him.

One might say that is extreme, and following like this is being “religious”. Many do not actually understand that there is a good form of religious behaviour (trusting in Christ, and showing that faith by loving others – James 1:27), approved by God and another that is not, like hypocrisy.

In any order, if we claim to be Christians, Christ must be the pilot of each of our lives, we do not co-pilot with Him by the way.

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15

3. Does sin in our lives bother us? If we are not bothered when we disobey God we most probably are failing the test which Paul spoke about.

4. Are we concerned about forgiving others, or do we hold on to grudges? It can be hard, we’ve all been there. Yet, how can we expect forgiveness from God, when we ourselves don’t forgive others? Let the enemy have no mouse hole in our lives! Unforgiveness is an incubation period that can birth sin. Let us ask God to help us to forgive quickly, and move on.

When it comes to church going, some things to look out for:
1. Going to church just to impress others (clothing items etc).
2. Going to church as part of tradition, but no real connection with Christ, nor a desire to obtain a relationship with Him.
3. Lack of interest in the Word (social networking on mobiles during sermons etc.)
4. No desire to worship God (not doing our best to worship through song and prayer)
5. No concern to really fellowship with other believers

If we are trying our best to seek Christ, great, He knows our hearts and is willing to aid us through His Holy Spirit.

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” John 14:16-18

Let us hold each other accountable. Let us test ourselves.

What are the chances?

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. – Romans 1:25

There is a Caribbean saying; “when you give someone an inch, they may take a yard” (roughly paraphrased). With the enemy, when he gets an inch, he doesn’t just try for a yard, he is going in for the kill. Denying Jesus removes His protective gear and gives the enemy just that foothold he needs to lead people astray and destroy them. If anyone has an ear to hear the Gospel, I pray will hear. If you’re not on Jesus’ side, you are in bad company. Even the atheists know what they are preaching is impossible. Is a few fleshly pleasures on earth worth your eternity with God? It is okay to submit to God, He is very good. Everything good under the sun that we enjoy is made possible because of Him. The love we share between family and friends, laughter, the beauty in nature etc. If we are eternally separated from Him, we will be eternally separated from those things too. I’m not saying come to Christ on those terms, but do come to Him recognizing your need for Him. We have all sinned; if we have placed someone or something as more important than God in our lives, the Bible calls this idolatry; if we’ve used the name of Jesus as a cuss word, it is blasphemy, we’ve sinned. If we have told a lie, we are guilty. If we have had sexual thoughts towards someone who is not our spouse, Jesus refers to this as committing adultery in our hearts. I am speaking plainly, that you may plainly understand and see your need for the forgiveness of the Father, for He is holy and as a holy God, He will not allow sin within His sanctuary. Our sin will not be patted on the back on that Great Day. Either we know Jesus, or we don’t.

 

Lukewarmness, quit it.

lukewarmNo one knows their time or hour; one minute on earth, the next minute eternity. Everyone will face death, some sooner than others. Next time you see a report about the dead, check to see who you are living for. Is it for God?

Jesus says if you are not with Him, you are against Him (Matthew 12:30). There is no in between. So quit with the lukewarmness; the church on Sunday; then parade on the streets, and dance in the clubs with all your L.O.L (Lots of Liquor). Jesus says He will spit out lukewarm people (Revelation 3:16), that means He wants no part with them. We can’t fool God. And He will not be mocked. Where your heart is, that’s where your treasure is. Heaven has its one brand of treasure, I highly recommend this pick, however, hell has something else to offer too, that is, the absolute absence of experiencing God’s presence. Since everything good comes from Him, it means hell is where you experience nothing good.

Some say that earth is hell, actually it isn’t, we can still experience the beauty in nature, the love from family and friends. These are good things, and the source of this goodness originates from the good God who in the beginning made the earth perfect until it was corrupted through disobedience of the first man and woman. There is a way to be reunited with God from this broken fellowship, and that’s through Jesus Christ. Believing in His work on the cross, and accepting that we have fallen short of His glory (we have all sinned) is the gospel truth that leads to salvation. While we cannot earn salvation by our own good works (Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross if salvation was up to us), but if one is saved, they will deliver the fruit of good works. So we don’t do good works on our own merits to get saved, but good works is evidence of salvation, not lukewarmness. So quit it and think about your living before you die.

*Everyone will die, repent:
Luke 13:2-3 And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. ”

*Lukewarmness leads to death/hell:
Revelation 3:16 – “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”

*Salvation is a gift from God:
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

*Faith/salvation produces good works:
James 2:17-18 – “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

The burden: a call to repent

burdenWhen someone becomes a new creation in Christ, not only do their eyes become open and they acquire hatred for sin in their lives, but they also attain a God-like desire to see others come to a knowledge of truth and receive Christ Jesus as well. There is indeed a heavy burden on the hearts of Christians when they look at the unsaved. Jesus has called His followers, the Christians, to share the truth, and while it is not always easy, it certainly must be done. For one we must obey God and two, we must obey God. God wants us to love Him, put Him first and love others. He then went on to say if we love Him we will obey Him. (John 14:15) We see love requires action, an obedient action.

I write again to share what has been on my heart. I see a generation that is drawing further and further from God. Every time I open my Facebook, I see my friends practice a lie and how heavy my heart grows. How I wish I could just share the Gospel and everyone would believe and repent. Here’s what Jesus says about those who practice a lie:

Blessed are those who wash their robes. They will be permitted to enter through the gates of the city and eat the fruit from the tree of life. But outside the city are the dogs–the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie. ” – Revelation 22:15

Quickly one might want to say they are no sorcerer, they are not hurting anyone and in fact a “good” person. The Bible says there is none that is good, all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) So there goes that claim.

If that doesn’t convince an unsaved man/woman of the lack of self-goodness, let’s take a look at the condemnation of sexual immorality. It’s not just talking about those who engage in sex with many different partners, but even those who are exclusively sexually active with one person, “in love” or not. Let me give a scripture, because I am not making this up.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, rivalry, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like. About these things I tell you again, as I have also told you in times past, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19

God really condemns sex outside of marriage. Notice how that verse begun with adultery and continued with fornication (pre-marital sex). Fornication in itself is sex out of marriage, because such an act is done when there is no marriage. The thing is, if we claim to live for God, if we call ourselves a Christian such a practice should not be in our lives. Even if you see another so called believer living such a lifestyle, that doesn’t make it okay. Even if the entire neigbourhood or country was practicing a life that is opposed to the Word of God, it is still not okay to follow in their ways. God’s Word is the authority which we must adhere to. Remember this also:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21 (Obedience again…)

The other practices listed in Galatians 5:19 are also abominations to God, they are sin and sin is an abomination to a holy God. For those who think that practicing homosexuality was only condemned in the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures, I got another verse for you, because I am not making this up.

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.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

It is a wicked lie being spread that it is okay in this day and age, a lie that I too once believed. I remember in the past hearing that it was okay for females to practice with their girl/female friends. Practice for what? God says to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, and what is marriage, a union between a man and a woman under the authority of God.

Each human is inclined to some sin, by the grace of God we can attain freedom from practicing the sin.  If you’re a Christian this is what the Word says concerning you.

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.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Christ] who loved us.” Romans 8:37

If you have not left your sin at the foot of the cross (repented from sin), this is a gentle, yet urgent call to do so. If God speaks to your heart today, don’t think that you have time to answer tomorrow. You do not have the ability to independently initiate a desire for God. This is why you read in the Bible or hear from the “religious people” the constant proclamation of “saved by grace”. God is the one doing the drawing/calling, not you.

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:44

One of the things that I have seen rampant today is immodest attire among women. There is a particular celebration on my island and other islands which further encourages this dress mode. It’s called carnival. Here’s what the Word says:

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,” – 1 Timothy 2:9

Modesty forbids boastfulness. We should not be boasting our bodies in such a way that promotes lust and other forms of sexual immorality. There is a way to look attractive yet modest and it doesn’t involve small/skimpy bras and underwear on the streets. If this be too much, consider this: if God came to visit you in bodily form, would you dress and dance as you do, as you did on “last lap” carnival parade?

I am not here on a soap dish, because I too know what I once was. I practiced just the same as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 condemns. The good news is by God’s mercy my eyes are now opened to sin and it is no longer me, or about me but about Christ. I was spiritually crucified with Christ, and now He lives in me. I am not claiming perfection either, but I am claiming a new lifestyle because of Jesus.

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

Are you now convinced that you are living in opposition to God? Great, your heart is ready. Please confess your sin to Jesus, repent from your sin, which is a decision to turn or move away from the practice of and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour. He is waiting, and He wants you to live for Him.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” – Revelation 3:20

God knows your name, your every thought, each worry, each tear; will you call upon His name today for liberty that only He can give? I sure hope and pray so. I’ve got a burden, a burden for you and God wanted me to share this with you. (Matthew 28:19)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Romans 10:14

Repent, repent, choose Jesus and live. 🙂

Unless ye repent, ye shall perish the same!

repentJust heard the news of a long time family friend’s passing. It is a common thing in times like these for many to question why; if the person who went on to the next life dies before 50, we respond “gone too soon”, and if over 50, we still want to believe that the person had enough strength for some more years. The thing is, the Word says we are appointed to die once and then face a judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus proclaims the urgency of repenting while we have the chance in the following passage:

Now there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. He answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? No, I tell you! But unless you repent, you will all perish as well! Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower in Siloam fell on them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you! But unless you repent you will all perish as well!” Luke 13:1-5

After sharing the gospel with some, I have been told “I don’t want to be saved now, sometime later.” I am sorry to say, but none of us know the appointed time. This is not a scare tactic; however I hope by the power of the Spirit hearts will be convicted, and those who are not yet in Christ Jesus will stop and think for a moment. Please stop and think about your eternity. Money, fame and the rest of the “carnivals”, “socas” and “dancehalls” of this world will pass away; even the best relationships on this earth will go too (Matthew 22:30), but our spirit will live on forever. The thing is, where are we headed? Are we prepared to spend an eternity with God, or an eternity separated from Him? He has provided a way to Himself, but those who reject Him in this life, will be rejected in the next. We reject God as number 1 in our lives when we place anything above Him. That includes a desire to hold on to a particular relationship and the sinful benefits of it (e.g. fornication/pre-marital sex [Galations 5:19-21] ) instead of obeying what the Word says in regards to it. Jesus said:

For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

By the grace of God I am saved (I didn’t do anything to earn my way here, so I can’t brag), by that same grace so can you too be saved. I am not making this up, it is all there in the Bible. Please believe, your eternity depends on it.

May hearts be open to receive Christ Jesus today.

Merry Obedience to Christ this 2013!

*Mat 6:33* But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

As we go into 2013, let us meditate on this verse. Notice it doesn’t say seek the provisions or the hand of the Lord but His Kingdom and righteousness. We receive all that God has in store for us when we walk according to His ways.

I am not sure where the idea of a new year’s resolution came from, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to make one for 2013. I’ve decided to ask God for help so that I can put Him a lot more first in my ways. I say to my soul God is the greatest, and He is. But as long as I am in my earthly tent, I fall short. In areas that I fall short, I need to acknowledge His righteousness more. That means more prayer, more stillness and less independence.

*Pro 3:5-6* Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.

Happy New Year!

Life Without Jesus is a Lamentation

Jerusalem-Destroyed

Lam 2:19 – Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward Him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

Broken fellowship with God is heart wrenching. God had allowed Jerusalem to be brought to a complete desolation by the Babylonians. The passage in verse 4 says that God “bent His bow like an enemy”.

There is a well known verse in the Bible that says “if God is for us, who can be against us?” What happens when He removes His protective arm? Well it is simple, if He’s not for us, anyone can be against us. We see that God is the author of life. And as Christians, obedience and holiness is the call of this new life that Jesus has brought us to. Selfish pride is not pleasing to God; I know I am guilty of this at times. Through my toils this semester I see how imperative it is to cry out to and seek the Lord in prayer. Without a Christ filled life we find ourselves bitter, angry, tired, lazy, anxious and more that are not Jesus’ will for us. Life without Jesus is no life at all but a complete and utter lamentation.

Make No Mistake

“My name is Legion, for we are many. (Mark 5:9)” is apparently quoted in the movie Ghost Rider. So many times I hear the Bible being blasphemed as a book of fables, yet the secular world continues to quote from it. Could there be an agenda behind that? Could it be that the “super powers” of this world knows something that it tries to compel its audience to believe to be a fake? Could it be that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)” Make no mistake about it; those in “high places” will admit to a spiritual world. Look and listen and you’ll hear many of the “greatest” entertainers of the secular attesting to being “taken over” when on set. We either have the Spirit of God dwelling within us or not! Do not be deceived. There is only one God, He is not I nor is He you. In John 8:58 Jesus proclaimed Himself as God Almighty “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” He went on to say in John 14:6 “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” You wouldn’t take Preparation H for a headache, now would you? Or would you go to the dentist, when you have a stomach ache? The remedy for sin is Jesus Christ. Either we believe Him or reject Him as a lunatic. I have heard some say He was a good teacher, but not God. Would a good teacher claim to be God? Again either Jesus is God or He is a lunatic and a blasphemer. I believe what He says, do you?

Just Stop and Think (Francis Chan)

A short video that will inspire the highest ideals, the clearest and most noble biblical values, and which do so with a commitment to holiness.  This is the salvation message and you got to get it!

Visit their website: http://juststopandthink.com