Thursday, August 31, 2017

Division

It seems America has never been so divided as it is today. Why is that? Some people believe certain politicians are responsible for this problem; but the truth is, this country (and our world) has always been divided. That is because those who love evil will always fight against those who love what is holy and pure.

The English settlers who originally arrived here from Europe were Christians searching for freedom from religious persecution. While it is true that not everyone who formed our government after winning their independence was a Christian, many if not all were greatly influenced by Christianity and the bible.

Regardless of their religious background, all of our founding fathers believed in free speech and freedom from tyrannical rule; our Constitution reflects this truth. They instituted a government that was subject to the people, not the other way around.

These principles are clearly inspired by the Christian faith. In the bible, we are taught to respect authority, but that God is above all of us; no person is better than another, regardless of their wealth or social status. It teaches us to have patience toward others and not physically harm someone in a vengeful way, simply because we disagree with what they say or believe. It teaches that mankind is blinded by sin and we should look to Christ for wisdom and deliverance. Mankind should worship God, not those in power or each other.

Because of this rich history, Americans have been blessed and fortunate to escape much of the evil found in other nations. But what would happen if Americans were to stray from our values and align ourselves with the world? We are seeing the answer to this question right now all around us. This is the main reason why there is so much division in our country today.

I'd like to share this bible passage:

"You, (Christians) dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:4-12) NIV

And...

"You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." (James 4:4) NIV

God is very clear that we are to be separate from the world. How do we know who is of this world? Quite simply, people who love this world reject God's word and those who speak it. For example, if you are harassed, persecuted or accused of preaching "hate speech," simply for quoting what the bible says, whoever does this is of this world, even if they claim to be Christians.

For many of us in America, the truth about our separation from the world has been watered down. We have created a false sense of reality; our blessings have blinded us from what is really happening around us. In essence, we are enjoying the fruits of our ancestors, even though we have strayed from the formula that enabled us to enjoy these fruits of prosperity.

What has this done? It has empowered those who hate God into thinking their way is better. Life is all about reaping and sowing. When you do bad things, inevitably you reap suffering and turmoil. But what happens if this spiritual law is temporarily rescinded? Evil that results from mankind's sinful nature is able to flourish.

Though we do not like to admit it, suffering has a way of bringing us to a place of truth. What happens when we are coddled and kept from experiencing the penalties for our bad choices? We grow up with a selfish and distorted view of life. Each generation is producing more and more of these types of individuals. The result is a society that is more susceptible to be deceived by Satan and those who advance his agenda on this earth.

We are seeing the horrible results of this process today. Those Americans who love this world instead of God are growing in number. Once their numbers are large enough, they will be able to completely remove the freedoms we enjoy. They will be able to change the laws and install a government that reflects their ideology. 

How long will it be before these people succeed? Can it be stopped? If it can't, our lives will be much different than what we experience today. Free speech will totally evaporate; those who speak or believe something contrary to a totalitarian government will be punished. Those who worship God and believe in traditional, biblical values will be persecuted, ostracized and even physically assaulted. When you really think about it, aren't we witnessing the birth of this future right now in America?

Those who love evil are attacking and blaming those who love the truth for the problems all around us. They claim to be loving and tolerant, yet they hatefully abuse and shun those who disagree with them. Those who truly love others respect those around them and desire to live in peace, even with those who hate them. On the other hand, those who are filled with hate cannot coexist with those they oppose. When those who have God's love in their heart outnumber those who love hatred, there is peace in the land. What happens when those who hate outnumber those who love God? Violence, civil unrest, anarchy and war.

There always has been and always will be division in America and on earth. Also, the bible says the earth will one day be ruled by a dictator who is hostile toward those who love God. We must prepare our hearts for this inevitability, since we are not sure when that day will come. The only time this earth will ever truly see peace is when God Himself (Jesus Christ) comes down from heaven and eliminates all liars from power. May this truth comfort us during these violent and turbulent times.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Spirtual Blindness

What is spiritual blindness? It's when the truth (according to God) is hidden from us. The biggest and most important truth is, we must receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and believe in Him to gain eternal life. But there are also numerous truths to be learned in our everyday existence. The devil and his demonic underlings are tirelessly working many deceptions in our lives right now. The only way we can truly recognize and expose the lies that engulf the world around us is with help from the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit of God. 

We are blinded when we are separated from God. What separates us from God? Sin. Since we are all born having a sinful nature, immediately upon entering this world we inherit spiritual blindness. This sinful nature is ingrained into our mortal flesh, making it weak and vulnerable to sinful urges and thoughts, all of which are inspired by Satan.

If we are aware of this truth, we can also learn this: Not everything that feels or seems good to us is from God. In fact, some things in our lives that feel good are actually sinful and self-destructive in nature. If this is indeed true, how can we ever completely trust ourselves to know what is right or wrong? The answer is, we can't; nor should we try. God tells us we must trust Him with all of our heart and not lean on our own understanding to guide us through life. 

The perfect scenario for us in this life is to only be subjected to God's truth. However, we live in a sinful world; we are surrounded by lies and destructive, sinful pleasures. Quite simply, as long as we are alive on this earth, there is no way to completely avoid being influenced by the evil all around us. For example, even if you don't smoke cigarettes, if you stay in a smoke filled room long enough you'll eventually leave smelling like smoke.

Most if not all of the pleasures found in this world feed our physical needs and desires. In some cases, there is no way to avoid doing this. However, it is important that we become disciplined when indulging or satisfying these needs.

I believe our spiritual diet parallels our physical diet: Those things in this life which cater to our flesh are like junk food. Junk food tastes really good...but when we eat too much, it will often make us sick and give us an upset stomach. Also, if we only eat junk food and never give our bodies the healthy food that it desperately needs, our health will deteriorate over time. The same is true in our spiritual life: If we only feed the desires of our physical body but ignore the desires of our spiritual body, we will become spiritually sick and unhealthy. 

The level by which we eliminate sin from our lives and resist the urges of our flesh, will have a direct effect on our level of spiritual blindness. The more we feed our spiritual body with God's Word and Truth, the more our blindness will give way to spiritual clarity and wisdom. God's truth will become like a light inside our hearts, guiding and leading us down every good path. Once we have received this light inside of us, we will no longer stumble through life in spiritual darkness.

We must learn to discern right from wrong in all matters, and to test the spirits which try to influence us on a daily basis. Think of our spiritual battle like this- The devil sits on one of our shoulders with a megaphone, screaming lies and temptations into our ear. On the other shoulder rests the Holy Spirit, whispering very softly and gently things from God.

Because the devil's voice and influence is much louder in this world, it can seem nearly impossible to hear God's voice. Therefore, we must learn to muzzle the devil's voice. How do we do this? By resisting the empty, sinful pleasures found in this world, and embracing the hidden treasures found only in God. When we sow in the flesh, we reap emptiness, sin and vanity. But when we sow in the spirit, we reap the fruits of the Spirit of God. Doing this will also help remove the spiritual blindness that is present in our lives.

(Scripture references: Proverbs 3:6, Psalm 119:97-105, Isaiah 59:9-10, 1 John 4:1-6, Galatians 6:8, Luke 11:34-36)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What Separates Christianity From The World?

In America today, we are seeing an increase in attacks on individual freedoms. For example, if someone publicly says something that might offend others, they are often vilified and persecuted. Instead of simply ignoring or quietly disagreeing, many feel they are justified in punishing others with different viewpoints.

This type of demonization or de-humanizing of others is the catalyst behind this behavior. In the minds of those who love hatred, this gives them the moral authority to impose judgment upon those they disagree with. If the target of their abuse is guilty or "deserves" it, this serves as justification, at least according to their way of thinking.

On the other hand, the love of God (which was revealed to us through Jesus Christ) is completely different. Jesus commanded us to love those who hate us, and to pray for those who persecute us. In the eyes of a loving God, there is never an excuse for one person to physically instigate violence toward another individual.


I don't believe this means we have to be best friends with our enemies. Nor does it mean we should let people physically assault us without defending ourselves. It does mean that we should treat everyone with respect and kindness, even those who hate us. 

We have laws in this country. If somebody commits a crime, they are subject to punishment according to our laws, not according to vigilante "justice." This also applies to imaginary crimes, such as the ever popular "hate speech" crime that many Christians are supposedly guilty of these days. There is never a time when a person is justified in persecuting another person, or physically/verbally assaulting someone just because of their words or beliefs; at least not according to God.

The bible says that when Jesus returns, He will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep are those who receive Christ as their redeemer. Having been forgiven, they likewise extend this forgiveness to others. The goats are those who embrace the hypocrisy found in this world. Though they themselves are imperfect and make mistakes, they refuse to show mercy to those around them who are also imperfect.

So then, what separates Christianity from the world? In a word, love...but not the love that is born of this world. It is the love of God; the kind that requires us to keep showing His love, even toward those who hate us. Indeed, it is only God's miraculous love that can truly overcome the hatred and hypocrisy, drowning this evil world in which we live.

(Scripture references: Matthew 25:31-33, Matthew 5:43-48)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nearing The End

I believe the entire bible is the literal word of God. For me, this includes what it says about our future. We do not know what day Jesus will return, but He did tell us we could know when His arrival was near. What are some of these signs of His return? I would like to share some that exist today, that are happening right before our very eyes.

The bible speaks of a future where Christians are persecuted and murdered for their faith. While it's true this is happening today, it will one day reach epic proportions. In fact, the entire world will condone this behavior. Notice what the bible says about this subject:

"Then the dragon was enraged at the woman (Israel) and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus."
(Revelation 12:17) NIV

...

"It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.


Whoever has ears, let them hear.

'If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword they will be killed.'


This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people." (Revelation 13:7-10) NIV

These passages speak of a future where a world dictator, commonly known as "anti-Christ", will have authority over the entire world. He will wage war on God's people and murder many innocent people. This beast, or anti-Christ, will especially target both Jews and Christians.

It seems hard to believe the whole world will condone mass genocide. But if we are paying attention, don't we see the seeds of this behavior being planted today? Jews are often scapegoated and falsely blamed for many problems in our world. Christians also are often unfairly attacked and persecuted for their beliefs.

These days, many Christians (or anybody else who does not subscribe to a progressive or politically correct ideology) are attacked simply for disagreeing with some aspects of our modern culture. Some even condone the use of violence as punishment for their beliefs. They accuse others of using "hate speech", which in their mind justifies the use of physical violence or persecution.

America was created on the foundation of free speech. It's citizens could speak their mind without the fear of retaliation by government or their neighbors. But there is a growing movement in our country which ignores these rights found in our Constitution. These people believe they are morally justified to silence those who they disagree with. In fact, their opponents are often demonized, which in turn leads to persecution and sometimes violence.

This would explain why there are many who often attack America and its history. Those who hate freedom cannot stand someone else having a right to speak their minds without being punished (unless of course they agree with what others are saying, in which case they are allowed to share their ideas). There are many groups who try and slander America in everyway possible. Little do they realize the very freedoms they enjoy will be lost if they get their wish, which is the elimination of the rights found in our Constitution.

I believe the devil is inspiring the hearts of many people to hate America and our liberty. He knows that before his anti-Christ can gain control of the world system, America as we know it must be eliminated. Will he one day succeed? The answer sadly is, yes.


The bible speaks of a world kingdom more fearsome than any before it, that will come to existence shortly before Jesus returns:

“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
 
“ ‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever.Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’" (Daniel 7:23-27) NIV

The United Nations is a world leading organization that is very interested in uniting the earth under one government system. (I encourage you to do some research into this organization). Indeed, there are many powerful people in our world who consider themselves "globalists". A lot of money and political power is being used to push a world government ideology on the population. If these people get their way, we will one day (perhaps very soon) see the fruit of their labor, which is one world government.

To summarize, in order for the future described in the word of God to come into existence, we would need to see a world government come into power. Since a free America stands in the way of this, it would have to be drastically changed in order to graft it into this new system. Also, Christians (and Jews) will be demonized to such an extent that world wide genocide of its people would be justified by the masses. Do we see the evidence of these circumstances happening in our world today? Do we see the seeds of these ideologies being planted in the hearts of people everywhere in our society right now? The answer is, yes.

May the Lord give strength to those who one day will face the rapidly approaching avalanche of evil, descending upon our world today. Amen.