God’s Timing is Perfect.

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A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
Proverbs 16:9

I’m a late starter in respect to fads and other activities people take part in. I bought my first video game system well after they were introduced. I got my first smart phone later than most. And my entrance into social media was years after a lot of my friends. But all these things were my choice. I don’t jump into something without making sure it’s what I want and that I’m ready for it but the one thing that took a really long time for me to get around to was something I thought would just happen. Marriage. God’s timing is never in sync with our timing. We want what we want sooner than later but God gives (or doesn’t give) when He’s prepared us for it. This is a condensed version of how God worked in my life in respect to timing and patience.

Growing up it seemed like marriage was not that hard to achieve. You date for a while. After a few tries you find the right one and that’s it. A lot of my friends from school were married with kids by the time we had our five-year reunion. This was something I was looking forward to but God had other plans for me.
I spent my twenty’s doing all the typical things guys at that age do. Going out with my friends, hitting on girls, and sometimes getting into trouble. All throughout that time I figured at any day the perfect girl would come along and my life would be in sync with everyone else.
I was thirty when I gave my life to God and started going to church. The first few years I didn’t give much thought to marriage. I devoted my life to learning everything I could about God and His word. It wasn’t until some of my friends from church started to get married that I started to think about it again. I was in my mid to late thirties when I began to look for a girlfriend who might be “The One”.

I asked my friends if they knew any single girls but they weren’t much help. I tried a few Christian dating websites. I went on one date and it was a miserable outing. After about two years of trying almost everything to find someone I was ready to commit emotional suicide. I thought if God had kept me single all this time there must be a good reason so I was going to give up any thought of finding the perfect girl and sink into the realization that I was destined to be alone.

At this point I was the big four-zero. I split my time between work, church, and playing the occasional round of golf. One day I was going through my golf bag and I noticed I was low on golf balls and tees. It was a Friday and I was going to go to the local sporting goods store to stock up. I brought my dad along with me so after getting what I needed he and I could have dinner together. As we got out of the car at the store my dad looked over at me and asked if I was still doing the online dating. I told him that it wasn’t working and I was going to give up and forget trying. He looked at me across the roof of my car and said, “You can’t give up hope.” My dad said something that I never expected him to say. I was stunned. I thanked him for what he said but didn’t give it much thought afterwards.

People say that God works in mysterious ways. I take that proverb with a grain of salt. It’s been thrown around a lot and while I’m sure He can it’s not something I ascribed to. That all changed when a strange series of events occurred that can only be God’s doing. I’m not someone who likes to skip church. I love the fellowship with my friends and hearing the message. But one Sunday for no reason I remember, I decided to forgo church and have a lazy day. It was almost noon when I got a phone call from a friend. As a matter of fact she was more than a friend. She was someone very special to me.

I met Amy in high school. I was painfully shy and she saw me as a challenge. She made it her mission to pry me out of my shell and get me to do the one thing I didn’t do much of back then. Talk. We became fast friends. We were inseparable when we were together at school. We even tried dating for a while but my shyness got in the way and we backed off to just being friends again. But I never got over her. For years I loved her from a distance. She met someone and got married almost right out of school. I was happy for her but deep down I wished it was me instead of him.

Years went by and we remained good friends. Things didn’t go so well for her and her husband and they divorced. This was it. I was going to tell her how much I cared for her. We had gotten together to talk about everything that was going on. I was going to use this time to tell her how I felt but before I could she told me she was moving in with a guy she met. I smiled and told her I was happy things were working out for her. I left there feeling like I lost my last chance. While our friendship continued we saw less and less of each other. She married again and her new husband didn’t want her to have any communication with me. He was a very jealous person. Fast forward thirteen years and I’m sitting in my room after skipping church and Amy calls me out of the blue. Her life had hit an extreme rock bottom. Her husband kicked her out. She lost her job. She was contemplating saving everyone the shame of knowing her by ending things, permanently. But that Sunday she had gone to church. Something she hadn’t done in a very long time. She was living with her parents and they wanted her to come with them. After their church ended they returned home and Amy sat in the backyard and she prayed. She asked God what she should do. I don’t think she was expecting an answer but when she stopped praying she heard a small voice tell her to call me. So she did.

If I had gone to church I never would have gotten the call and Amy told me later if I didn’t answer she was going to end things that day. I never stopped loving Amy and when she came over I told her right away. Looking back I can see a lot of the things God did to move us into the places we needed to be to bring us together. And it wasn’t just timing. God had brought us both through a lot and taught us lessons we needed to learn so we could have a future together. Without those years we might have never made it.

Amy and I were married a little more than a year after that phone call. God’s timing is incredible. If things didn’t go just the right (or wrong) way then this story would never have happened. I thank God every day for Amy and the life we have together. He also blessed us with a little girl. Her name is Hope because of what my dad said to me right before everything that happened. The next time you start to wonder if God hears you or think He has forgotten about you remember my story. It took twenty years for me to be with the perfect girl and while there was a lot of heartache and pain getting to this place, I would never change a second of what happened.

I hope those who read this are encouraged. God brought me through many things to prepare me for the family He was going to bless me with. I know there are people reading this waiting for God to move in their lives. It will happen. Eventually. Don’t give up hope. It’s my prayer that whatever God does in your life you receive it with thanksgiving and use it to honor Him.

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The Offensive Truth

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In the book of Galatians, Paul warns the church about false teachers and the false doctrines they were passing off as genuine. In Galatians 4:16 Paul asks “Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?”. Paul warned the church yet they didn’t like it. Today, Christians following false teachers and their misleading words still get angry and offended when another Christian sees this and speaks up to warn them. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this issue causes me to sometimes lose sleep.

The truth of God’s word offends those who don’t believe. When a professed Christian gets upset at the truth that’s when we should be worried. Why are they upset? What’s causing their irritability towards biblical truth? One possibly is that they’ve fallen into sin and need someone to help pull them out. Another possibility is that they aren’t Christians at all. They have, for whatever reason, chosen to look and act like Christians. They recite enough truth to sound credible but they speak of another gospel and do their best to draw others away from God. I’ve had more than my fair share of anger and hate directed at me for sharing the gospel and sadly enough a lot of it was from people claiming “Christianity”. When they put forth a theology and/or a lifestyle, that promote ideas that are contradictory to God and I present a biblical defense of the truth, I’m called “judgmental and hateful”.

In the gospel of John, Jesus uses the metaphor that to belong to Him, one must eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. While we can see He is not speaking literally but spiritually, His followers had a hard time understanding this. Even His disciples said among themselves that this was a difficult thing to understand. Jesus then asked, if what He said offended them(John 6:61). He knew, that not only what He said at that time, but His entire ministry was offensive to the masses and it still is today. No one wants to think that they live a sinful lifestyle. Everyone wants to go on living their life however they please. It’s only when the light of God’s truth shines into their darkness that they object.

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

The things of the world have a strong pull on our lives. When we look at children we see what that looks like. They are driven by a selfish attitude. In the first few years of their life this isn’t so bad. It’s when they start to reach an age where they are old enough to understand need and want and they still act like a toddler that wants, that’s the pull of the world. Anyone who is a friend of this world and the things in it cannot follow God. The way people lust after those things is sinful and we are born into this world sinful. This is another offensive statement that people don’t want to hear. Paul writes in the book of Romans that everyone has sinned and has fallen short of God’s glory(Rom 3:23).

I’ll say it again. No one wants to hear that they are sinful. Most people consider themselves good people and what they do and how they live, while maybe not conforming to normal social standards, is not bad. But what are they basing their view of good and bad off of? Is it societies definition or does it come from a biblical view? There are non Christians that are the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. They’d give you the shirt off their back if they could. These are really nice people but God doesn’t judge on how good we are. While everyone can be good, their motivations might not be. Jesus told people that no one is good except God. So how can we be good? By grace through redemption that comes from Jesus. Only through repenting of our sins and giving up this world(and the god of this world, satan) to follow Jesus. We can’t have one hand holding onto a sinful lifestyle and the other reaching out to God. We need both hands to go after Him. God wants our full attention and nothing less.

They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished.    John 3:20

The world and those who cling to it will always hate God’s truth and find it offensive because it shows them how wrong they are. They’ll fight it and use every justification they can to make their ways seem right but in the end they’re wrong. Only with God can we be made right and holy in His sight.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. Romans 8:9,10

Division devalues the message

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Causing division between different races devalues us as people

Causing division between the police and society devalues order

Causing division between Christians and the world, Satan is trying to devalue the gospel.

Causing division between Christians and other Christians, Satan is trying to devalue our testimony.

As much as certain groups of people profess their admiration for former president Obama, he left this country in a divided state. Race relations are a mess. Communities are at odds with the police and the world that sorely needs the message of Jesus, has nothing but contempt for Christianity. Is there any way back from this or is this the beginning of the end?

Watching the news or reading the newspaper, it’s plain to see that our country is sliding into an abyss of hatred. People are forming groups and taking sides. One day there’s a group that’s angry because they think someone is appropriating a culture. The next day there’s a protest about guns or skin color or gender. We’ve become so polarized as a society that we may never find our way back to any kind of unity. If we do, things will likely get much worse before they get better. And that’s a best case scenario.

America feels like it’s at a tipping point and we’re all just holding our breath waiting for that one thing that will send it crashing down. If it happens our nation may not come out of it in one piece. While this can seem overwhelming and even upsetting, we as Christians should not lose heart. If we give in to the divisiveness that is plaguing our country then we’re no better than those who are causing it. Now, more then ever, we should be proclaiming the gospel to the world. Paul tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind.

For example those of us that lived through the “Y2K” scare, the situation we’re living in now feels a lot like that. For months leading up to December 31, 1999/January 1, 2000 people were in a mild state of panic. As we inched closer to 12/31/99 people were filled more and more with panic. The populace grew ever more worried thinking our civilization was on the verge of collapse and roaming gangs would beset the towns and cities. Life as we knew it was about to end. And then the calendar hit 1/1/2000…and nothing happened. The world kept turning. No gangs looting. Everything was fine. But this time there’s no definitive line we can see that will let us know if things will get better or worse. Right now the dividing lines are just cracks below a thin surface but under the right (or wrong) circumstances we could experience a massive tectonic shift and that’s when things really start to degrade.

In a parable, Jesus compares us to sheep that need a shepherd. Jesus, of course, is our shepherd and He watches over us and keeps us safe. If one of the sheep wander off, like they are prone to do, then they are in danger of getting lost, hurt, or even killed by predators. So it is with Christians going off by themselves and rejecting fellowship with other believers or even rejecting Jesus Himself. They leave themselves out in the open, defenseless.
So why cause division? What do those who are causing it hope to gain by it? Jesus healed a man who was demon-possessed, blind and mute. He did so by casting out the demon. After this the Pharisees came and claimed that Jesus was doing this in the name of Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. Jesus then went on to tell them that a kingdom, city or family could not stand if it is divided. You can’t defeat evil with evil. It just won’t work.

So if a group is divided, then the foundation of that group will crack and fall apart. This will leave all those from that group to drift and will make easy prey for the enemy to come in and snatch them away. Not everyone will fall for the enemies lies, but with them cut off from a group that could help strengthen them spiritually they are in danger.

The only power satan has here on earth, is lies. He can twist them up with just the right amount of truth, that even the most devout follower of Jesus can get snared in his trap. The writer of Hebrews urged the people to NOT neglect meeting together so that they could encourage one another and keep each other focused on God and His kingdom. If we do neglect coming together, we are left out on our own, and that’s where the enemy will divide and conquer us.

Brothers and sisters, I also urge you to continue to come together in Jesus name and strengthen, encourage and love one another. We cannot live this life on an island separated from other believers. I pray that if you need a place to meet with other Christians that God would provide you with one. The longer you are out in the wilderness by yourselves, the better chance the enemy has to trap and deceive you.

Living out the red and black letters

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All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:16

If there’s one thing the progressive church movement (PCM) is good at, it’s down playing the word of God. When they do use scripture, they’ll go on about the “red letters” and how they’re following those words. But that’s not what they’re doing. The PCM has a nasty habit of justifying and endorsing sinful lifestyles and they’ll use the name of Jesus like a club, to beat anyone with an opposing viewpoint down.

Now, on the surface, the PCM looks and sounds like a nice, respectable organization that is promoting Jesus and His teachings, just like any other church. That is, until you dig a little deeper and discover what it is they’re really advocating. Leaders of this progressive movement are pushing a theology based on worldly thinking and ideas. They’re lifestyle is one that has a resemblance to Christianity but in their thoughts and actions they reject God and embrace a life of sin. This is contradictory to the life we should be living. James tells us in his writings that friendship with the world (sinful living) is to be an enemy of God.

Certain leaders in the PCM love to tell you how they are humbly following the “red letters” of Jesus, to promote an environment of inclusion and unity. They’ll use some of those letters to try to prove the existence of a Jesus, who’s only teachings were about loving everyone the way they are and not being a jerk. What they won’t tell you is that Jesus’ ministry, from beginning to end, was about repentance. In the book of Matthew, Jesus begins preaching by saying “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” All throughout the gospels Jesus’ message of repentance is repeated over and over. His last command to His disciples, is that repentance and remission of sins should be preached.
Nothing about repentance is spoken anywhere in this movement. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen the opposite put out. That a loving God would never abandon His creations to an eternity in Hell, so repentance isn’t necessary. God will bring everyone to Himself no matter what. This isn’t just bad theology, it’s an abomination and a lie, birthed by the spirit of antichrist. Anyone teaching this, is teaching a different gospel and that person, according to the apostle Paul, should be cursed.
The message of what Jesus did for us on the cross and His resurrection, is the good news we all need to hear, but the PCM has chosen to not only ignore it, but to reject it. This along with every part of the Bible that isn’t printed in red is thrown out as useless garbage.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.”   Luke 10:16

Here’s some “red letters” the PCM seems to have missed. When I talk to progressives about scripture and they want to reject my views, they tell me I must have read too much Old Testament or anything after the gospels. By saying this they dismiss everything in the Bible that isn’t in red. Yet in this verse, Jesus says that when a disciple speaks he is representing Him and his words carry the same weight as if Jesus was there Himself. During Pentecost, after the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples, Peter went out to preach. He told the crowd to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus and they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God dwells in us as Christians, teaches us the truth, and helps us remember what we have heard and read. The importance of the Spirit cannot be overlooked in sharing the gospel, yet leaders in the PCM constantly espouse views that fly in the face of biblical truth because they don’t have the Spirit in them. They dissect the Bible like high schooler’s cutting apart frogs in science class. They don’t understand what they’re seeing but they lay it out like they know what they’re doing. The followers of this movement are as blind as their leaders. They sit at their feet taking in every misspoken word like manna from heaven. Without the Spirit of God they can’t rightly divide truth from fiction but we who have the Spirit see and hear them for who they really are. We know that every word in the Bible is directly from God and that we can put our faith in them without question.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.   Hebrews 4:12

Another way the PCM goes about denying the word of God, is to call it an ancient text that cannot be understood and is outdated. They’ll also tell you that while the Bible may have been inspired by God, it was written by flawed men and those flaws found their way into the Bible. If you accept either of these ideas as truth, then your theology is extremely messed up. The writer of Hebrews, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that the Word of God is living. It’s not a dead book, that no one can know. Every time I read it, I’m in awe of how powerful the words are. Reading the bible truly renews my spiritual strength and reinforces the lessons I’ve been taught. These words were relevant for the people then, as well as for us today. When I’m told by a follower of the progressive church that the Bible can’t be taken as truth because the men who wrote it were imperfect and that made the Bible imperfect as well, I wonder what goes through their minds. Apparently, we humans are stronger than God, because our will and what we want can supersede Gods will. God wanted this written down so that not just the people then would know it but it would continue into the future until Jesus comes to collect His bride. Do you think God would let His word be altered? Is He so weak and unknowing that anyone with a pen could change what He wanted to express? I believe the Bible is without error. To think otherwise is detrimental to a Christians thought life. Seeing as how the PCM doesn’t want to preach anything but the “red letters” and even then not all of them, why even use the Bible? The PCM leaders could just as easily quote the Dali lama or Gandhi or even use those motivational calendars as a source for their teachings.

and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.   2 Peter 3:15,16

Peter hits the nail on the head here. As it was then, so it is today. There are some untaught and unstable people taking the Bible and twisting what it says, to fit into their own sinful agendas. A lot of people are buying into their tripe. Whether it’s because their knowledge of spiritual matters is weak and they don’t know any better, or they want to live a lifestyle of sin and yet have the illusion of Christianity, their reasons are a mystery. It has been and always will be my prayer that someone reads this and God opens their eyes to the truth. God wants everyone to come to the knowledge of Him, but as long as there are false teachers and false doctrines going out, then the spirit of antichrist will draw people away, and in the end they will be condemned to an eternity apart from God.

The Humanization of Jesus

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“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

More and more I see the progressive church movement (PCM) deny the Godhood of Jesus and dismiss the bible claiming it’s a work of man. They portray Jesus as nothing but a human teacher rather than a savior and redeemer. By bringing Him down to their level of understanding they can justify their twisted view of scripture, the little they use, and promote a world centered theology that is diametrically opposed to that of the word of God.

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” James 4:4

While He was here, Jesus was a teacher and a great one at that. Even though the parables He taught with seemed to go over everyone’s head, including His disciples. This is not a point that needs to be argued, but to keep it at just that and push away the truth of His ultimate objective is not only foolish, but it’s downright blasphemous. Everything Jesus taught and every miracle He preformed was to put a point on who He truly was and why He was really here. Repentance.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

When John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching, he didn’t declare that Jesus was here to feed the hungry, topple governments, or to make the marginalized feel all warm and fuzzy. He said that Jesus was here to take away the sins of the world. And before that, an angel came to Joseph and told him that the child Mary was carrying should be called Jesus and that He would save His people from their sins (Matt 1:20,21). Later on Jesus commands His disciples to preach “repentance and remission of sins” in His name, to all the nations. His ultimate goal was to become the sacrificial lamb and take the sin of the world on Himself.

It’s sad that I have to write something like this but it’s no surprise that it must be written. The world today is littered with all kinds of false teachers and doctrines and If people aren’t careful they will get sucked into a lie and might not be able to see the truth when it is finally presented to them. Such is the problem that is the progressive church movement. They believe they’ve moved past what they read in the bible, if they believe what the bible says to begin with, and attempt to explain everything with their highly progressive thought process. They superimpose their humanity over the word of God and tell everyone they know better because the bible was written so very long ago and we have grown much smarter since then. When people from the PCM attempt to present Jesus they draw from two sources in the bible. The sermon on the mount and the feeding of the five thousand. They use these two parts of the bible to build their “socialist Jesus” and then beat everyone over the head with it if you disagree with them. As well as using some of the most vile language I’ve ever read to help make their points.

PCM teachers take the sermon on the mount and make that a blueprint for their version of a socialist utopia. They’ll point out that all the things Jesus says and turn it around so that is all you need. Repentance is thrown out the window. That would cause them to realize the lives they are living are sinful and that they are rebelling against God. there can be no room for that kind of guilt or conviction in the PCM. That being said, being kind to one another, helping those in need, loving your enemy are things we should all strive to do. Everything Jesus talks about in these verses I’m in complete harmony with. I have no problem reading and following these things, but I’m not doing them out of a need to perform and show the world that I’m some kind of social justice warrior or to virtue signal. I do these things because I’ve repented of my sins, turned away from how the world thinks, and embraced God and His love for me. I do these things because I have a love that comes from God, and it compels me to reach out to those less fortunate. Anything else is either an act to make yourself look good to the world or you think by doing good acts that will somehow make you right with God. Without a repentant heart those acts are good for the ones benefiting but worthless in the long run for the people doing them.

“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25

I saw a meme on the facebook page of John Pavovitz around the time of Thanksgiving that made the claim Jesus feed the five thousand because it was the right thing to do. Yes. Jesus did feed the five thousand. The problem with the PCM is they stop there and prop up their “socialist Jesus” again trying to shame people into submitting to their twisted views. When you read on after that, it says that the next day they came back and wanted to be fed again and Jesus said no. NO!? But this is Jesus. He’s supposed to feed the hungry, right? No. He told the crowd that they sought Him out not for who He was but for what He could do. The crowd was thinking with a worldly mindset. Jesus went on to tell them that He was the bread of Life and that whoever ate of Him would never hunger again. This made the crowd angry and restless. If He wasn’t going to feed them then they would leave. They completely missed the point of what Jesus was saying. Over and over Jesus kept pointing them to focus on the Kingdom of Heaven. This world is temporary and to put your faith and trust in it is foolish. in the end if you’re a friend of the world and all that’s in it you cannot be a friend of God. Todays progressive christians have the same problem the Jews had back then. They couldn’t understand the truth Jesus spoke about because they didn’t have the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit they see Jesus as just a guy giving away free food and a kind word and miss the truth. Unless you repent of your sins, turn away from what the world wants you to do and follow Jesus in everything, not just the parts you want to follow, then you will be saved.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The world centered message of the PMC is in direct opposition to the will of God. We’ll never understand the bible using our own intellect. He hid it from the world so that those who are truly seeking Him out will find and see it. Only when we fully give ourselves over to God and He fills us with His Spirit, can we understand. In the meantime, the PCM will continue to make up their own biblical meanings using the world’s wisdom and when something comes up that they can’t figure out then they’ll give the “who can know” answer or make something up and keep on going without missing a beat.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16

The PCM can’t or won’t believe in the true Jesus of the Bible, so they do everything they can to make Him look and feel and act like every other human on the planet. By doing this they can feel better about themselves and their actions. If the Jesus they create can be as flawed as they are, then justifying sin and a worldly lifestyle isn’t bad. Their “Jesus” will let them do or say anything they want without consequence. It’s a tempting life to live. No wonder they have so many atheists and agnostics joining their group.

I’m not writing this for any kind of fame or glory. I don’t have a book deal or a nationwide speaking tour. I do this because I see the error in how the PCM portrays Jesus and the gospel. It’s wrong. Those deep in this movement will read this and dismiss it. They may comment on this the only way they know how, and that’s with a hate that can only come from a soul filled with the spirit of antichrist. I expect this. My prayer is that, maybe, one person reads this who is on the fence and they question everything. Question me. Question them. Hopefully they’ll read the bible for themselves and truly seek after God not just the cardboard cut out the PCM puts in their window to attract those too lazy or stubborn to understand. There’s more to Jesus than “love everyone”. Don’t pitch your tent there and miss out on everything else He has for you.

The encroaching darkness

manofsinI recently read an article that claims Christianity is on the rise in America, or at the very least it is stable. The article cites various studies and polls but I’m having a hard time believing this. Just by looking at a newspaper or watching the news (if you can believe that anymore) you can see the eroding of morality and decency in not just America, but the world as well. There are a number of verses that tell us that by the end, before Jesus finally returns, many who call themselves “christian” will be turned away by accepting the lies of the enemy or leave the church on their own. Even if there is a rise in Christianity, I maintain that the inflation of numbers is artificial. By the end of this life Jesus said that only a few would find true Christianity.

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”                      
2 Thessalonians 2:3

Before the man of sin (lawlessness) can arrive Paul warns of the falling away. The Greek word for this is “apostasy” which means to defect. In 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul says again that some will depart, or stand away from the faith. To stand away or defect from the faith is more than just having a crisis of faith. It is a complete 180 degree turn. Those who were once praising and worshiping God will begin cursing and blaspheming Him wanting nothing to do with Him. Now whether these people are the “Sunday only” christians or they are true believers that have been blinded by lies, we don’t know. Already in today’s society we have the rise of the progressive church. they consider themselves “christians” yet they deny Jesus in their lifestyles and thought life. They embrace many kinds of sin and twist scripture so they can justify it and call it good. The contempt of God is at work now and has been ever since Adam and Eve ate the fruit they were told not to. Anyone who opposes God and His work is a part of the lawlessness that is at work today in the world.
False teachers and doctrines will continue to increase and destroy the foundations of true Christianity making it almost impossible for people to distinguish truth from falsehoods. Thankfully we who are truly His have His Spirit living in us and we can discern the truth and fight back against the lies.

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”                     
1 Corinthians 2:12

So it seems a large portion of the church will turn their backs on God and embrace sin and the things of this world. I can only imagine how bad this world will be when that happens. Along with the progressive church leading people away from the truth we have all kinds of anti Christian groups who don’t want anything of or about God out in the world. They want all traces of Christianity wiped out and done away with. What will the world look like if they get their way? Right now God is restraining the full effect of the lawlessness at work. While He does that we have the freedom to preach and teach His word. Lies and false doctrines abound but they can’t put out the light of truth but at some point in the future God will lift that restraint and the full force of lawlessness will come crashing down on the just and unjust. A complete rebellion against all the things of God. Those who serve the man of lawlessness, knowingly or unknowingly, will finally get their way and once the world gets to this place than and only then will he, the man of sin, be allowed to reveal himself. This will be a dark time for christians. Everything we love will be trampled under foot and there will be nothing we can do about it. It will test our faith like never before. I wouldn’t be surprised if this caused another round of defections leaving a remnant of true christians to take the brunt of the anti Christian movement. This man of lawlessness will exalt himself above everything. His words will deceive everyone eager to listen. The truth that could save the world will be drowned out and because they want it so bad God will give them what they want and in the end they will be condemned because of it.

“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,”                                                                  
2 Thessalonians 2:11

So while the article I referenced at the beginning claims Christianity is growing, it will receive a serious blow from those who will leave the church in a great rebellion. Falling sway to the lies and deceit and joining with the man of sin. This will leave few who cling tightly to God and His promises. The world has been moving slowly away from God and take in the lies and sin (homosexuality, abortion, “legalized” drug use). This world will never, never get better. It will sadly slip farther down a path that affirms sin over righteousness.

Reexamining Isaiah 5:20

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“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”    Isaiah 5:20

I’d like to tackle something the progressive church movement (PCM) uses as one of the tent poles of their “faith”. Something that, when challenged, sets them off like a bomb. The homosexual issue. There is no clearer example of the PCM demonstrating the above verse. They want to take something bad and call it good. I’ve already covered this in an earlier blog but I feel it warrants further discussion. I’ve been asked why I seem to be so vocal about this particular subject and there are a few reasons why. First it is a blatant attack on biblical truth and as a representative of the Gospel I feel compelled to rise up and defend that truth from those who would seek to pervert it. Also I have several friends in that lifestyle that claim to be Christians yet they look and act just like unbelievers. This hurts me and while I speak to them from time to time about it they come back at me as though I’m the bad guy.
Weak minded Christians will almost always fall for the PCM’s concept of the backwards right and wrong. They’ll be shown people who are being “marginalized” and feel sorry for them and before they know it they’ve been indoctrinated into the “cult of feels”. And those without any Christianity (atheist, agnostic, etc.) have no problem swallowing the lies of the PCM. They see them as a good influence on the world but they are both blind to the truth.

When trying to talk to them about this or any other agenda the PCM is pushing, you’ll get one of two responses. Response one is that the bible isn’t real. It’s made up so there’s no believing anything you quote from it. There is no talking to these people. Their hearts are set in stone and nothing you say will change their views. Sad to say but don’t bother with this group. Response two is from the group claiming to be Christians. They’ll say something like, I’m a Christian and you’re just being hateful. The bible really doesn’t say what you think it says. No one can really know so anything you say is from a bigoted and phobic mindset. These people at least own a bible. They might never read it or if they do they only pick and choose what they want to believe. Something they accuse real Christians of doing and that’s called projecting. Just one of the many tools the PCM uses to try to discredit anyone who would speak biblical truth.

I know when progressives quote the bible to try and discredit real Christianity they go right to Leviticus to dredge up old laws and punishments that are no longer relevant to make Christians sound crazy or hypocritical. We are no longer under those old laws. Thanks to the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross He brought forth the new covenant between us and God. So understand that when someone brings up Leviticus to argue a point, they are showing their limited knowledge of the bible or they’re being deliberately obtuse. For this blog I will be sticking to new testament scripture to make my points.
Like I said at the beginning, the homosexual issue is big for the PCM. Here they make their stand for inclusiveness in the church. The arguments they use to back up their claims make them seem naïve and show an ignorance of biblical truth. A prominent voice in the PCM said this in one of his blogs about homosexuality:
“Being gay is not a sin. Neither is being lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The bible never claims that it is. Christians should stop saying it”
I’m sorry Mr. PCM pastor (I’m using the term pastor in the loosest sense) but your statement is wrong and you should stop saying it.
One of the claims to bolster their case is to use the “made in Gods own image” line. They think if God made man and woman in His own image then He must be non-binary making Him both male and female. Wow! That’s a stretch. When God said that we would be made in His image He wasn’t referring to the physical but the spiritual. God is spirit, not flesh. our image of God is a morally right minded way of thinking and being. We are not animals who exist solely on instinct. We have reason, thought, and free will. We are, in spirit, the image of who God is. There is no way anyone who claims to understand the bible should ever say it’s physical. Another one of their ideas is that the bible never uses the word “homosexual” in the original text. That’s true but let’s look at the words they do use.

“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.” Romans 1:26

Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit, wrote that women were giving up what is natural (man+woman) for something against nature (woman+woman). Against nature can also be written as unnatural. Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the definition of unnatural:
-Contrary to the ordinary course of nature; abnormal or not existing in nature.

Their lifestyle does not exist in nature and don’t bring animals into this. I already stated that we are not animals. We didn’t evolve from monkeys or whatever they’re selling these days. To say that verse isn’t condemning lesbianism is just wrong. You really must want homosexuality to see this any other way. Let’s keep going.

“Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” Romans 1:27

Again Paul writes that what the men were doing with each other was shameful. Here’s the definition of shameful:
-Worthy of causing shame or disgrace.

Men left behind the natural for the unnatural. This doesn’t sound like something God affirms in His kingdom. Back in verse 26 it says that God gave them up to vile passions. Gave them up. Let that sink in a little. God, in effect, washed His hands of them and let them do whatever they want no matter how offensive it is. If we put it all together it sounds like this:

-God, washing His hands of them, let them pursue the disgusting lifestyle that they wanted. Women did unnatural things with other women and men sought out other men so they too could commit unnatural acts with each other as well.

This is not the kind of act churches should be promoting but the PCM continues to reject God and His truth and embrace Satan’s fictitious religion. Looking at the people who are leading the PCM this kind of rejection isn’t hard to understand. They continually misrepresent the scriptures and redact the truth so as not to be offended or to offend. The same PCM who I quoted earlier said that he doesn’t believe the bible was dictated by God and that the bible contains errors. With that kind of “wisdom” it’s easy to see why the PCM is gaining popularity and drawing in the kinds of people it is.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17

With no clear guide like the bible people can do whatever they want without any repercussions. They take what is vile and shameful and make it good. And when true Christians speak the truth those in the PCM reject it and call it hateful and wrong. The progressive church movement is led by the spirit of antichrist and needs to be discredited because the longer it’s allowed to go on the more harm it will do. I know I’ll get a lot of hate from those in the PCM when and if they read this but that’s to be expected when you challenge their lies with the truth.

The weight of eternity

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This is my testimony. This is what happened on the day I finally gave my heart, mind and soul over to God and let Him be my focus. Early in 2001, I was hanging out with my friend. I called him my “running buddy”. He and I would hang out at his house, make noise and watch wrestling. We didn’t have a care in the world and were having fun. One day, seemingly out of nowhere he told me he had been saved. He said he gave his life to Christ and was a christian now. He stopped the running around and all the activities that went with it. I thought that was great for him. I was happy that he found something to center him and help him grow up a bit. His wife seemed happy with the decision too. I left his house that evening with some thoughts of my own. A few weeks went by and I was wrestling with whether or not I was a christian. My parents had taken me to church when I was a kid and just about every bible school they could find over the summer. As a teenager I went to the local church youth group and even did a year in a christian school. All those places I remember saying some kind of prayer of salvation. Did that do enough to spare me from a fiery afterlife? I have always believed in God no matter what kind of life I was living and the life I was living at this moment was making me question my salvation. Could I just say a prayer and then go off and live however I wanted or was there more that God required of me. Surely God has more important things on His mind than a prayer I said years ago. Yet still those thoughts turned and turned until one day I made a choice.

It was a day in March 2001. I was working on a lunch truck and I was going over the thought of salvation for the hundredth time. My friend’s life in those weeks had been a complete change-up. He was calm, happy and had a peace about him I couldn’t understand. “He said a prayer and he’s a christian now.” I thought. “Well then I am too.” I had finally put my mind at rest about this and claimed christianity for myself. If I had said those prayers way back then, then I must be a christian. “Well then, I think I’ll turn on the christian radio station. That’s what they do, right?” And so I did. What happened next can only be called a miracle. I don’t remember what song I heard on the radio but what I did hear changed my life. I heard the voice of God. I’ll never forget what He said. “You are not mine. But you can be.” That’s all He said. And while He said that in my heart I felt the eternally wide gap between Him and me. I felt the weight of eternity and I was broken. At that very second I repented of my old life and started my new life with Him. I was a mess. I was laughing and crying at the same time. My heart was beating a thousand times a minute with all of the new-found joy and peace I had. I realized that despite my newness I still had a job to do. I quickly pulled myself together and finished out my day. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell everyone the good news.

In the weeks between my friend being saved and my own redemption I had tried to read the bible. I could make out the stories but it just seemed like a book written in a foreign language. When I got home that afternoon I got my bible and opened it up for what seemed like the very first time. What had previously been like an unknowable tome had become, quite literally, an open book. The Holy Spirit was at work in my life illuminating every word. the stories weren’t just stories but life to my soul. It had truly become the bread of life and I devoured it like a man who hasn’t eaten in weeks. From that moment on, I’ve lived my life for Him. Times have not been easy since that day. There have been day’s where I have stumbled and life got very difficult but I have never thought of turning away. Whatever pain and suffering I endure here is nothing compared to the glory I’ll experience when my time here is over and I meet Him in heaven.

This is my testimony. This is how I met God in a lunch truck and He showed me how far sin had kept us apart. I hope you read this and are inspired by it. I pray that if you have a relationship with God you keep working to make it better. I’m doing that every day. If you’re unsure about your life with Him it’s not too late to make it right. We don’t know how many days we have left and tomorrow isn’t promised to us so don’t wait. This is the most important relationship you’ll ever have.

Do you have a right to judge? Christianity 101

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“You can’t judge me. Who do you think you are?”

I’ve had many discussions about Christianity with believers and non believers and sooner or later a subject is brought up that causes one or more in the conversation, to make the above pronouncement. They let me know that how they live their life is nobody’s business and I should keep my nose out of it. I would be inclined to do just that but sometimes judgment is needed, as well as necessary. There are times when we are called to judge those around us but we need to understand when and how. Let’s take a closer look at this topic to separate fact from fiction.
One reason judging is needed is to bring a person who is sinning back to God. When we know someone who is a Christian and they are doing something that has them moving away from what God wants for us, it’s our job to go to that person and help them.

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17 (nkjv)

It’s our duty to go to our brother or sister and, in gentleness and love, let them know that what they are doing is contrary to the word of God. Taking them aside one-on-one to help them understand they are sinning and that you are there not to condemn but to help lift them out of whatever they are going through. This can lead to two different outcomes. One, they come clean and seek forgiveness. This is what we would all hope for in this situation but there are some who will opt for outcome two. Two, while you take them aside and try to bring them around they throw their hands up and say, “Who are you to judge me?”. Now things get a lot more complicated. Where do you go from here? Jesus clearly says that if they won’t listen to one person then two or three people should talk to him/her about what is going on still in gentleness and love. I’ve been on the side of one who tries to talk to someone about their sin and it’s not an easy conversation to have. They thought I was judging them when all I wanted was for them to see that what they were doing was rebelling against Gods will and to turn back. Having a group of people confront a sinning christian can look like you’re ganging up on them, when all you really want is for them to repent and get in a right relationship with God again.

If, after this, nothing can be done and the sinning brother/sister keeps refusing to listen and turn back, Jesus tells us, that now they should be brought before the church. This is a big step. Now, I’m not saying they should be brought in front of the congregation and shamed, I’m talking about the leadership of their church. The pastor and the other leaders should sit down with the person in question and talk to them. It’s at this point the brother/sister should repent or be removed from the rest of the church family. Sin cannot go unchecked or else it will spread like a sickness. If the pastor, who is the head of the congregation, lets a known sin go, then other members may feel they can sin, as well. Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 5:6,7 and this brings us to the second reason judging is needed. To protect the body of Christ.

There was an incident of sexual immorality in the church at Corinth and instead of putting the offender out of the church, they accepted him and his sin. Paul told them that what they were doing was wrong and they should not boast or glory in this but to call a meeting and have him thrown out.

Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man.
1 Corinthians 5:3 (nlt)

Paul knew this had to be dealt with quickly and severely. He knew that if left unchecked it would “infect” the rest of the church body. If Joe can get away with something and no one in the church says anything about it then I can do that too. That would have been the mindset then and it is the mindset of the church now. By letting sin in the church, even a little, it will spread like a virus and before you know it, your local church will falter and die.

For example I know of a church that had a thriving youth ministry. The young people there loved to get together and study the bible and discuss what they were going through with the help of their youth leader. Now these are teenagers, that can do ill-advised things and two of these kids did just that. A young teenage couple ended up getting pregnant. Now, here is where the pastor, youth leader and other leaders in the church should have come together with the couple and pointed out their mistake. There was no way to take it back but the pastor could have spoken to the congregation and tactfully explained what happened and why it shouldn’t happen again. However, the church at large just went with it and nothing changed. Other examples of kids falling away were happening within the group at the same time and the youth ministry faded away. This was just the beginning. Other outside influences came in and worked at chipping away at the heart of the church until now it’s a shell of its former self teaching a left leaning progressive christianity that is not in line with Gods word. I’m not saying that the two teens were the start of the fall but they were a symptom of how the church refused to take responsiblity for sin in the church. They not only let it go, they celebrated it.

It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
1 Corinthians 5:12,13 (nlt)

Paul was telling the church that they should deal with the sin within their own people but still reach out to the surrounding area of non believers and preach the gospel, while God will deal with those who reject Him. That’s our calling today. If someone claims to be a christian and they are acting out in deliberate sin, it’s up to us to call them on it and help them out of it. If they refuse then they need to be removed for the sake of the rest of the church. If someone is clearly not a christian, let God handle their sin and we should present the gospel to them in the hopes that they will repent.

From the outside this can look like a mean-spirited act and uninformed people could use it as a way to attack christianity. They throw around the word “hypocrite” in a blanket statement used to cover every christian with stigma of being hateful and bigoted. All the while the church is just trying to protect themselves and the ones they are looking over. Those not in Christ or people who have left the church for whatever reason were quick to play the hypocrite card in the past, and they still, do but the progressive “church” and its antichrist agenda are using the “don’t judge me/us.” as a way to shame real christians and make themselves look pious and real to the rest of the world and unfortunately it is working. Whether its non christians backing them and their world centered message or weak-minded “christians” who have no idea what the truth looks and sounds like and climbing on board, progressives are slowly trying to eat away at christianity’s foundations. So, it is our job to keep going forward with truth, no matter how unpopular it is with the world. If they are living in sin or promoting a sinful lifestyle, then judging those who claim to be followers of Christ is, and will always be a sad necessity.

I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
1 Corinthians 5:11 (nkjv)

So let us undertake this task. To watch for sin in our churches and to be bold enough to call out the offender when necessary while continuing to reach out to those blinded by the lies of the enemy and show them the true Jesus that we all follow. Continue to pray for wisdom and discernment so that we can carry this out in a way that no one will be able to accuse us of being a hypocrite. Trying to bring shame on us is the progressives’ weapon of choice but as long as we are led by His Spirit we will know the truth and they won’t be able to do anything to stop it.

Thanksgiving 2017

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The last few years have not been easy for me and my family but through it all we kept our eyes on God and He kept His hand on our lives. Without going into too much detail we had to move out of our apartment in the middle of December 2014 and move in with my wife’s parents. Not how we pictured the course of our lives. Our time there taught us many things but the biggest takeaway for me was my increased faith. There were times when my wife thought that we’d never get back out on our own and quietly I thought the same thing but I kept reminding her, and myself, that God had put us there for a reason and when the time was right He would move us back into our own place. Hindsight being what it is, the positives of being there far outweighed the negatives and for that I am truly grateful. It allowed us to help start a home church. I started studying the Bible again after a year or two of drifting away and started this blog. God had plans for us but He needed us to be in a place where we were fully dependent on Him. I’m happy to say that God did open up new job opportunities for me and my wife and along with that a place of our own. He honored our faith even when it seemed like we didn’t have much faith to work with. Being led through that time of difficulty made our family stronger and more focused and connected to God. So as I look forward to the future I can say that thanksgiving, to me, is more than just turkey and pumpkin pie. It’s a time to give thanks to God for every blessing He has given us no matter how small. I’m thankful for the lessons He taught me. No matter how hard they were at times. I’m thankful for my wife and daughter. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family. One I wasn’t sure I’d even have but that’s a story for another day. I’m also thankful for those who took the time to follow this little blog of mine. It’s always been important to me to present the word of God in a world that only wants to hear comfortable lies over hard truths. Thank you for being there to listen and hopefully be encouraged by what I’m writing. You guys are awesome!

So take this time to reflect on everything God has done for you and give Him thanks. You might even be going through some difficult times right now but take it from me when I say I have been in your shoes and God is and will always be with you. It can be difficult to thank Him when you’re in the midst of a storm but fear not, He is most definitely there. Thank you again for letting me into your lives and have a safe and wonderful thanksgiving holiday.

The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
Psalms 28:7