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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Turning The World Upside Down

A few days ago a friend of mine tweeted a response to a CNN post that stirred up a lot of people.  Some called names and hurled insults, some blasphemed, and some threats were made against him. I also received backlash for my own personal tweets and also responses to people who reacted to him.   We were both called "soul vultures." 
Here is the Tweet that stirred people up:

Tony Miano is a street evangelist and a former deputy sheriff and chaplain.
He truly wants people to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
He wants God to be glorified. 
He loves people.
He is not making a judgment about why the earthquake happened in this tweet.  Perhaps some have misconstrued his tweet and thought that is what he was saying.

I stand with Tony Miano as he stands up for Christ and His Word.
If you get to know Tony, you will know that he shows genuine concern about people and their souls.
In Luke 13:1-5 Jesus likewise used events of the time to demonstrate that when bad things happen to people that it doesn't mean that they were worse sinners.  Everyone needs to repent or we will all die.   When an unbeliever dies in their sin never having repented and trusted Christ, they will suffer eternal punishment where there will be no pleasure, but there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 
God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone (Ezekiel 18:32).

Tony is not saying that he is happy that people died there, but he does want the people of Nepal to turn from their idols and turn to Christ.  Idols have no power.  They cannot save anyone.  People in America worship self, singers, actors, politicians, loved ones, possessions, nature, and pleasure.
Even Christians must battle idolatry that creeps up (1John 5:1).
Some Bible verses about idols.

In the Old Testament of the Bible we see that people were to tear down their idols and altars to false gods.  If the people of Nepal repent and trust in Christ, they will not want to rebuild the temples to false gods.  Any Christian who participates in building a temple to a false god is sinning against the One true God.

This is what the apostle Paul said when observing religious objects of worship in Athens in Acts 17:22-29.

What has happened in Nepal is very sad with thousands dead and injured and many needing help.   
It serves as a reminder that any of us could die at any time.  Some of the people who died in Nepal were reportedly believers.  We are sad that it happened, but it is even more tragic for those who died in their sins to spend eternity in Hell.  Many have likely never heard the Gospel, though they have the light of Creation.  Those who know the Savior are now rejoicing with Him.
The majority of people in Nepal are Hindus.  There are many unreached people groups, and possibly less than 1 % profess to be Christians. (See Joshua Project info. here.)
I have seen Paul Washer has done a series of videos about the Gospel in Nepal.
As a Christian, I desire for the Gospel to be proclaimed throughout the earth, so that more people may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing they may have life in His name. 

Earthquakes, riots, hurricanes, floods (including tsunamis), tornadoes, accidents, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, terrorism, sink holes, etc.....we don't all know how we might die.

Are you ready? 



If you want to give to help the people in Nepal, please click on the link below:
Children's Hunger Fund
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

New Josh Wilson Single, Justice, & Rebuke

Josh Wilson has a new single scheduled to be officially released May 4th, 2015.
It turns out there live rendition online!  I'm sure the official one will have a much cleaner sound.
I have enjoyed much of Josh's music over the years, as his lyrics are often encouraging, thought provoking, personal, and he doesn't hide what he believes in his songs to gain popularity with the world.
 Here is a sneak preview:



There are times when someone does or says something wrong and we are too quick to believe the worst or want immediate justice when we are hurt.  Either way, we need to remember God isn't blind when someone treats us in a way that seems unfair or sinfully.  It is good to remember how much we have been forgiven as well.                                                            

Sometimes we need to make right judgments and have discernment to keep us from false teachers and evil situations and behaviors.  We need to know God's Word well.
Pastors especially need to be ready to refute and rebuke.
The Responsibility To Rebuke

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Should women submit, be subject to, or obey all men?

The Bible has a number of passages that deal with the relationship men & women have to each other.
When we look at them, we find that it does not say that women are to obey all men in general.
Women are to be under male leadership in the church (not to teach or exercise authority over men),  but there is a chain of command so to speak.  Men shouldn't be telling other men's wives what to do and usurping the husband's role.  I believe rather that men in the church should encourage men to speak with their own wives.  In general, everyone is to submit to the government.  Christians are to submit to each other. Foremost women and men are to submit to God.

We do find in the Bible that women are to submit & be subject their own husbands.
Ephesians 5:22 ; 1 Peter 2:1-2 ; Ephesians 5:24 ; 1 Peter 2:5
We find that Sarah obeyed her husband Abraham, calling him lord.
Wives are to respect their husbands. 1 Peter 3:2  This means even unbelieving husbands or ones disobedient to the Word.  Men won't always do things the way that the Bible says, but a wife should follow the husband's leadership so long as the wife isn't sinning.  That act of love and humility may even win the husband over.

Just as Christian men should not deny their wives physical intimacy, women should not deny their husbands intimacy (except by agreement for a time...1 Corinthians 7:2-6).

Those in the church are to be subject to each other in the fear of Christ, but there is a special relationship between a wife and her husband.  It's a relationship of honor and unity. It is compared to the unity of Christ and His Bride the Church.

Are women to be treated as inferiors?

 
No. 
The Bible tells us that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  (See Ephesians 5:25.)
Men are to nourish and cherish their wives as they would their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28-30).
Men are to live with their wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7).
Wives are fellow heirs.
Christian men should be leading and helping their wives spiritually.
Men and women both should treat each other in all the ways the Bible instructs Christians to treat each other.
If there is physical abuse going on, we are under civil laws.  Also, if the spouse professes to be a Christian, the church must exercise discipline.  Go to your church, and if threatened...go to the police.

What does it mean that women are weaker?

 
I'm sure it quickly comes to mind that women are in general physically weaker than men with some exceptions.
While many women may not want to admit it, I freely admit that I am weaker emotionally than men.
This doesn't mean that women lack intelligence or the ability to use logic. 
It means that logic can fly out the window due to being more sensitive, emotional, and hormonal.
Women have a different balance of hormones than men do.  We tend to be more tenderhearted which suits the roles that God has given to women in general.
I see in 1 Peter 3 an encouragement to follow 1 Peter 3:8 in all relationships.
A man can't live in an understanding way unless he realizes a woman's fragility, and honors her and treats her as a fellow heir (if she is a believer) in spite of her role of submission.  He should not try to dominate his wife by being a dictator, and she should not try to dominate him or be afraid of or controlled by fear of him.

Women are to have a gentle and quiet spirit, though our natural desire in our sinful fallen state is to rule over men (Genesis 3:16).
The Bible teaches us to have faith and live in love and sanctity with self-restraint (1 Timothy 2:15).
Women are to be chaste, respectful, gentle & quiet (1 Peter 3:2-4).

Now, in full disclosure, I am not married.  I still am to be subject to other Christians and the authorities the Bible has for me. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Travel Adventures In Tennessee

My family took a trip this weekend for a follow-up appointment for someone in my family.
The scenery on the way was nice with the redbud trees blooming a lot along the wayside.

I made the mistake of having a caffeinated drink on Easter Sunday, and my pulse went up as high as 133 or 134 during church.   It was distracting, and I didn't feel well.  I still enjoyed the service over all, and it seems that they are desirous to honor God with the song lyrics and focus on the Biblical text.  If we lived in that town, we'd be going back to visit again. 

I was so hopeful to visit that church this time and pushed for going early to Cookeville, TN, so that we could visit Midway Baptist Church.  My Dad had found the church online maybe last year and I had sent mail, and we had even driven into the property on a previous trip.  Then someone in chat on my favorite online radio program Cross Encounters Radio said positive things about the pastor, so that was very interesting twist.  I had already wanted to visit anyway.

The follow-up appointment for my family member went very well, and I even gave the surgeon a Thank You Gospel Tract.  We enjoyed eating at Panera Bread and Maggie Moo's ice cream in Nashville. 


This morning at a hotel, I got some decaffeinated coffee into a cup and was working on the creamer or sweetener packets, when a guy picked up my cup and was walking away with it!  I just watched, and then he finally asked if that was mine.  Yes, it was mine!   He did bring it back and found his own that he'd left somewhere else.  I doubted he would have wanted decaf. anyway, and then I remembered a movie called The Christmas Card where the girl started eating another guy's order that was the same as what she normally ordered.  Thinking of it that way made me laugh.

It rained on the way back home...poured is more like it.  Visibility was terrible. 
We made some stops along the way breaking the trip up.  Usually my life is pretty limited, so this was an adventure.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What Easter Means To Me As A Christian

Many people celebrate Easter this time of year.    For Christians, it's not about the colored eggs and the bunnies.  Those are fun things for the season of Spring, but they are merely substitutes and distractions for many people.   I believe it can even be harmful if not idolatrous to celebrate "Easter" bunnies (as in the folklore rather than as just animals) or Santa Claus (as in the mythological view).
We as Christians need to be very careful not to confuse legends, myths, and traditions with Scripture.

Here are some things that I found that focus on what Christians believe about Jesus' death and resurrection.

Jesus suffering was predicted by Biblical prophecy long before it happened on earth:
Isaiah 53:1-12

God purposed for Jesus to die. Acts 2:22-24 

Jesus death was both an offering to God and a demonstration of love to those who believe (Ephesians 5:2).

Everyone is guilty before God.
Romans 3:9-12

Jesus died for sins. (1 Peter 3:18)
Is there a Biblical list of sins?

Was the death of Jesus just or an injustice? 
The Murder of Jesus

For those who want to hear more about the death and resurrection of Jesus, here is a special presentation you can listen to put out by GTY with John MacArthur from One Perfect Life.
 


Romans 5:6-11