Only Change Will Revive Hope

If Jesus were with us today, He would undoubtedly weep over America’s spiritual life. We have congregations that count their real estate and resources in millions, some of them in tens of millions! Yet that alone means nothing to Christ. The United States likewise is crowded with churches which forget the divine command, “Thou shall love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind” and which, instead of this inner, heart-centered, soul-deep worship of God, permit head and lip worship to creep in, formalism and ceremonies to receive far too much attention. The plain preaching of the Gospel, without which no man can be redeemed, is pushed into the background.

Ask the average American: “How do you expect to be saved? What is your hope of heaven?” and you will find first that many of our countrymen do not want to be saved, since they think they do not need to be; and you will also learn that of those who believe in the hereafter, the majority actually like to think themselves so good, so much better than others, that God will welcome them with open arms when they ought to understand that without the Lord Jesus they are lost forever; that their hearts are filled with greed, lust, hatred, their lives marked with secret and disguised sin.

Because millions in this nation, founded by Christian pioneers, blessed above all other people on earth through religious freedom, have forgotten their God, neglected their privileges, spurned their blessings, rejected their Savior, we can find Him on Olivet, grief-gripped not only for Jerusalem’s Temple, but for churches in the United States that are more concerned about money raising than soul-winning, more intent on gaining popular applause than divine approval. As we hear Christ repeat His warning, “This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” may God give us the spiritual insight required to understand that, if America is to come closer to the Almighty, this rededication must start in the churches; that the groups called Christian must receive a transfusion of firm, unquestioning, self-denying trust. To stop the tears of Christ, we must go back to the Bible, back to the blessed Savior, back to the blood of His atonement, back to justification by faith, and faith alone.

Excerpted from “Tears Over America” by Walter A. Maier 1945

Thank God for my preacher friends! I dare not touch God’s anointed, but I do not hesitate to say that the dirtiest gang of thieves this side of Hell are the Gospel-denying, compromising liberals and modernists who deny the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures and preach to please people instead of preaching the Word as it is laid down in the Bible. Hell will be hotter for these preachers than for ordinary sinners who sat in the pews and listened to their social gospel. Oh yes, there will be preachers in Hell (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). Just as surely as God has God-called preachers, the Devil has Devil-called preachers.

There is no need to blame Hollywood and the liquor crowd for the mess in which we find the world today. The blame lies at the doorsteps of sissy, compromising, back-scratching, ear-tickling, “denomination-pecked” preachers who know the truth yet refuse to preach it for fear that they might hurt someone’s feelings.

It is not inviting to be unpopular. No one likes to be shunned. It is not a good feeling to know that you are not appreciated. But our Lord went through all that—and more. He set the example. He said, “He that takes not his cross, and follows after me, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.” Also, ‘Beware of the man of whom all men speak well.’ Too many preachers stand in too well with the world in this modern era.

Excerpted from the Message “Unpopular Preachers” by Oliver B. Greene 1915-1976

Words of Grace for Strength

Let us hear what the Bible says about these days in which we live:

2 Timothy 3:1-7 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Preachers and People alike have turned from Biblical Truth to ungodly living, there are so very few who are living for Christ, so very few who are willing to make a stand for Christ, most are living for self, living for the “lusts of the flesh and the pride of life.” Only change through repentance, will result in restoration and/or revival. Read these quotes:

“When a nation becomes as morally depraved, as spiritually blinded, and as steeped in humanism, hedonism, and materialism as America is, there is only one power in the entire universe that can meet and overcome such evil, and that is the power of the living God Himself, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a visitation of the manifest presence of God.”

“Revival, no matter how great or small in its ultimate scope, always begins with individual believers whose hearts are desperate for God, and who are willing to pay the price to meet Him.”

“God wants to avert judgment, and He’s simply looking for one person who will pay the price in prayer and in faith and in commitment, whatever it takes, to get a hold of God and not let loose.”

– Del Fehsenfeld, Jr.  1947-1989

Do not look for honor from the world, expect hatred instead. And, when it comes, receive it with the humility of Christ, for you should be humbled when you realize you have been treated no better than He was. Do not expect blessings on your church or your country if neither has the boldness to stand by Christ’s teachings, and furthermore, to proclaim them aloud to the surrounding world. If the reality of the Bible has become a rarity in your daily life, do not expect miracles from the Lord. His silence will shout judgment into your ears, although you will not hear it not over the clamor of the world’s parade passing by.

If and when man turns from his personal wickedness and/or apostasy to a right relationship with and in Christ, he will then begin to find security in Christ. But, it will take repentance, and true repentance brings change, and when this change occurs, we can stand on His Promises:

Luke 6:22-23 “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.”

John 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

Philippians 1:27-29 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”

Philippians 3:7-11 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

1 Peter 4:12-16 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.”

Revelation 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Revelation 3:8-12 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”

In these promises we find real Hope, an Eternity with our Savior! This is change which delivers hope! It is time for repentance! It is time to stand! It is time to become a overcomer! Will You?

EvenSoCome

The Disciplined Life

The Bible says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10 Days of adversity are bound to come. The weakling will faint by self-induced illness, by blaming others, by resigning, by displays of “nerves” – almost any method which presents the possibility of escape. Only by consistent disciplined living can that strength of character be developed which can face adversities without fainting.

The flood of moral looseness which, in this generation, has so blighted our youth and undermined our homes is in my opinion directly related to the self-indulgence of the age. And the church has not escaped. The easy style of living and spending of these years of plenty has seeped into Christian circles too, even into our personages. As a result we have a lot of flabby saints and playboy preachers. We have given lip service to the altar of the Lord but in practice we have bowed at the shrine of the swank. We have been mesmerized by materialism ourselves even while protesting against it in others. We have been thrown off balance by the prevailing false standards of value.

The remedy is not poverty and economic depression, but discipline. ~ The alarming tide of moral casualties of recent years in both pulpit and pew is without question the result of that inner softness born of undisciplined, self-indulgent living.

Excerpted from “The Disciplined Life” by Richard Shelley Taylor – Copyright 1962

Words of Grace for Strength

In our efforts to teach Biblical Prophecy in these Last Days, we are continually surprised at the things that we find which have been written over the course of the past 100 to 150 years, concerning the spiritual state of mankind, and the very fact that much of it could very well have been written today. Maybe we should not be so surprised; the wisdom and truth of the Bible is timeless, those who write of it or preach such biblical truth may well seem to speak timeless wisdom. Such is the case with Richard S Taylor’s little book “The Disciplined Life.” While our excerpt is from the forward of the book, the body of the writing contains an excellent treatise on developing a disciplined life and we highly recommend it.

Today it seems that discipline is little practiced in the self-indulgent, superficial culture we find ourselves living in, and in fact personal responsibility and accountability are nearly nonexistent. Those who seek to live in such a way are often ridiculed or despised. However, as Christians, discipline should be an inseparable characteristic of who we are. As Christians we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Disciple and discipline are formed from the same root word, therefore as disciples we should be living disciplined lives. As disciples we should be troubled, convicted by the Holy Spirit if we do not.

Personal spiritual discipline is developed by habitual practice of biblical disciplines and principles. Some of these disciplines are; personal Bible study, corporate Bible study (i.e. with your church family), having an active and fervent prayer life, developing your spiritual gifts, living an evangelistic lifestyle, demonstrating worship, praise and thanksgiving. Disciplines that are grounded in the wisdom and truth of the Bible, not in our personal feelings or need for self-actualization. In other words, to develop a disciplined Christian life we need to allow God to teach us and discipline us through His written and spoken word.

Developing spiritual disciplines in one’s life is an expression of a desire to serve God. It should be the desire of every Christian, so that we might become all that God plans and desires for us to be. It is the conscious act of placing our will under His will, allowing Him complete control of our lives so that we can say as the apostle Paul did, “for to me to live is Christ” Philippians 1:21.

As Paul encouraged the Christians in Rome; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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 12:1-2, we also need to be reminded to live as Christian nonconformists in the world today. For how can we conform to a world that defies the living and Holy God, turning further from Him every day?

Christ’s return for His Church is imminent, yet as His disciples we may still face persecution before we are raptured out of this world. Develop spiritual discipline in your life and in so doing you will be prepared until He comes. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Rapture, the Tribulation, then Judgment. All of this because…

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

American Revival; National or Spiritual, is either possible?

This may well be the most personal post I ever put up on this blog. As a Preacher, Teacher, Pastor, and Ministry Director I dedicate much of my life to the study of God’s Word. I love all Scripture, but I have a particular interest in Eschatology, the study of End Times Prophecy. In light of this, I truly believe it is a fact that we are living in the Last Days, and in fact the very end of days.

As I prepare the “Signs of the Times” update to share each Sunday morning with our church, and on Tuesday here on the blog, I look at the condition the world is in politically, morally and spiritually. I see the conflicts which rage on every continent as man’s inhumanity to man demonstrates itself in all types of violence, consuming lives because of; political differences, ethnic differences, moral differences, religious differences, or just plain old greed. In the Middle East, God’s chosen people, the Jewish Nation of Israel, is surrounded by people’s who clamor for her to be wiped from the face of the earth, and finds herself increasingly abandoned by the United States.

Here in the United States of America we find ourselves internally in the same conflicts found in the rest of the world. As a result of the policies of this present administration, there is an increasing intolerance towards Christians, emerging class warfare because of an ever-growing economic divide, and escalating racial tensions on a scale not seen since the 1960’s. The moral decay in this country rivals that of Rome under the emperors Nero and Caligula. Abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, the legalization of mind altering marijuana, and an entertainment industry in which pornography has become its largest moneymaker. We have a failing educational system which has embraced compromise and tolerance rather than exceptionalism and competition. Our schools teach our children that there are no absolute truths, no wrong answers, and that they are not personally responsible for their own actions.

The corruption within our national government has grown to epidemic proportions. We have a President who is ruling by executive order circumventing Congress at every opportunity, who routinely lies to the American people without repercussion or consequence, and an Attorney General who not only breaks the laws of this country but refuses to enforce them as well. We have an EPA rife with internal corruption yet by executive order have been given unprecedented power, an NSA, again by executive order, which is spying on the American people, and an IRS which is being wielded like a bludgeon against conservatives by the President and Democrats in Congress. Under this administration the US military has been weakened while the DHS, the IRS, the BLM, the TSA, and other government agencies have been militarized as domestic security forces.

Early in his first term as President, Barack Obama stated that we were no longer Christian nation. Personally, I don’t believe we ever were. I do believe that this nation was founded on Christian ideals and principles and that the 10 Commandments are the foundation of our legal system. I believe that at one point in time the majority of the citizens of this country at least worshiped as Christians whether or not they actually had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But, as far as I’m concerned, I believe the Bible clearly teaches that the only “Christian nation,” are those people who have accepted the free gift of Salvation provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary, and who are described in Scripture as the body of Christ, whose Citizenship is in Heaven, and not anywhere in this world. That having been said, I find great sorrow in the fact that few “churches” in America today are preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, they have become social institutions, or proponents of a word of faith prosperity gospel, or a humanistic self-help gospel, or are embracing the idea of the united inclusiveness of all religions, or some other form of theological error. Regardless, Ichabod, “the glory has departed” has been written above the door frames of the majority of these “churches.”

I was born a citizen of the United States of America. I have loved this Country, I have served this Country, and I have helped to build this Country. I grew up in a small town, played baseball and was a linebacker on my High School football team. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance everyday in school, had prayer before ballgames, and sang the National Anthem. The doors on our homes were always unlocked, and our rifles and shotguns hung in gun racks in the back windows of our pickup trucks because, we just might be going hunting after school. I was a cowboy, tended cattle, hauled hay, and competed in rodeo. We had picnics on the Fourth of July and watched fireworks, celebrating the freedom we enjoyed living in this great nation, while all the time understanding that freedom isn’t free, and had been dearly paid for by the men and women of our military.

I was proud to be an American, proud that I lived in a country where I could vote my conscience, vote for and have respect for those who would govern and lead our country, speak of and worship openly my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and instill in my family these same ideals. But as an American, I have watched this Country’s heart and soul destroyed from within. Liberalism and socialism took root in our institutions of higher learning, and has now usurped power in our government. This has resulted in the fact that we have been forced, in the name of compromise and tolerance, to exchange liberty for security and freedom for socialism. As a nation we have turned our back on God, demonstrating the same sinfulness and wickedness found in the world in the days of Noah and Lot. Repentance is no longer preached from our pulpits, Salvation has been replaced with self-help, and teaching of the Second Coming of Christ has been supplanted by Preterism. The majority of people in this nation no longer worship the God of the Bible, but instead worship at the altars of self, sport, entertainment, or money.

In light of all of these things the question must be asked, is there any hope? Can America be saved?

As a Christian, as a blood bought born-again child of God, as a believer in and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I will tell you there is always hope. Hope that true followers of Christ, men and women with a biblical worldview, would speak up, be elected to office, and in other ways stem the tide of spiritual, moral, and political decay. However, as a student of Bible Prophecy, because I do not find the United States in End Times prophetic Scripture, I must admit I truly believe America’s time has passed. But, although I do not see a patriotic national revival, I still hold out hope for and am fervently praying for, a Spiritual revival in America.

Once upon a time in America, we were a nation who at least honored God. Today that is not so, for we have allowed the enemies of God to gain a place of prominence in this nation. The enemies who trouble America are neither imported nor homegrown. We find that enemy identified in Ephesians 6:11 & 12. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We as followers of Jesus Christ must recognize that even though America may be lost, her people do not have to be. Our enemy is Satan, yet Christ Jesus has promised us the victory.

It is our responsibility, to share with the people of this nation and in fact the world, the truth of the Gospel. We must tell them that Jesus paid their sin debt, and ours, at Calvary, and by their confession and repentance, making Him the Lord of their lives, He offers them eternal life. And we must tell them of His imminent return for His Church, the body of Christ. We must do this because the Word of God tells us that this world is not going to get any better. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 Paul warns Timothy; “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!  Certainly this is a description of mankind today.

Once again I will tell you we are living in the Last Days. In Ephesians 5:16&17 Paul tells us we should be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” What is the Lord’s will? It is His will that all men would accept His gift of Salvation. 2 Peter 3:9 says; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” We must be sharing the Gospel message of  our Lord Jesus because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

Until He comes to rapture His Church we need to keep praying for a spiritual revival that will not only sweep this nation but the world because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

Long ago I adopted Ezekiel 22:30 as my life’s verse; “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”(KJV) And, it is my prayer even now that God will make me that man, and continually work a spiritual revival in my heart and mind, so that I may continue to be the preacher, teacher, and leader servant that He wants me to be. I will also be praying for Him to revive the spirit of every Christian who has remained true to Jesus Christ, so that we might see many souls redeemed in these Last Days. Will you join me in this prayer?

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome