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Friday
Apr152011

So What's Playing on Broadway?

Who knows, but it is fun when you are in New York to see a Broadway play.  It is interesting that a name that is associated in scripture with destruction is used in our day to represent the artful community. Jesus in fact said that people who have no restraints, no regard for moral integrity, will be people who choose a broad worldview. In fact, I find it interesting that our culture celebrates diversity, openness, tolerance, and the broader the worldview, the more accepted you are. However, the greatest teacher that ever lived taught something completely different. If Jesus were around on earth today saying these things, He would be considered intolerant, and bigoted. Here is what He said.

Matthew 7:12-14

The Golden Rule

12“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

 
13“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Keep in mind, His reference is not to hate people who are different than you, the "golden rule" is to respect them as people, love them as God loves them, but don't do as they do or condone what they practice. 

The focus of finding the meaning and purpose of life, is not in the worldview that is tolerant in accepting the anything goes mode, but it's found in a very narrow focus that concentrates on the purpose of creation. God's purpose for human beings is to build relationship with Him, and live with Him forever. 

Jesus knowing human nature pinpointed how the majority of people will react to living out a more narrow worldview. Most will always take the course of the least resistance, yet taking the easy way out will never bring much satisfaction, in fact, Jesus said it brings destruction. So, if I follow that to it's logical conclusion, the broadway of life brings me to a nasty end. Well.....isn't that what He said?  Destruction is a nasty end. I bring this to your attention because the church is following the same kind of thinking. We are too narrow, too restricted, to old fashioned, too old school to be of much good to a modern culture whose world view accepts everything.

Does it matter to God about our worldview that determines the boundaries for moral, spiritual and ethical behavior? It should, if we are a representation of God in our world.  However, if the representation put forth by the church is more about ourselves than it is about God, then I guess we have chosen with the world to do the broad way.  But if the church represents God, our worldview will be narrow, and the course we take will be hard. And because of that narrow plan, it will not be popular.  Okay, now I did it, I exposed a foundation of many ministries today. Popular defined means,  more people, more money, more tolerant, more acceptance, and the preacher keeps his job, yes, I get it.

In my opinion, the church has compromised it's voice, it's practice and it's theology all to be accepted by our culture. The church has finally made it, it's playing "Broadway."  Congratulations....and in the end, where will it take us?  The Church has it's 15 minutes of fame, and the expense of an eternity lost for so many who will not hear the truth about the narrowest way on earth. "I am the way, the truth and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by Me."  

Yes, I know what you are thinking, I am so narrow minded..yes I am! Until next time, I willl remain honest and truthful...K

p.s. Here is some video to ponder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGSQjtWTpaw&feature=related 

Thursday
Apr142011

Have You Seen The News Today?

Our government is broke, Donald Trump is planning to run for President, and air traffic controllers are falling asleep on the job.  Everyday I get up and read the news, but I don't know why, I really don't get energized by it.  I suppose its my curiosity about knowing whats happening in the world.  However, the more I read or watch the news, the more I realize how unaware we really are about the world. We have more technology to report the news faster to us, more news programs to interpret the news, and you can find more news stories from anywhere in the world on the internet. So why do I say we are more unaware than ever before?

Its because God says we are unaware.  You can get all the facts, and information you want, but without the right information, you're still unaware. Here's my point from Matthew 24:37-39 

 37As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  38For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,  39and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

The last days will be days of travel, and education will increase according to the prophecy in Daniel, but the population at large is still unaware of the pending dangers that loom in their world. 

Notice that those in Noah's day were so pre-occupied with life that they were clueless as to what was about to happen to their normal existence here on earth.  Well, why did Jesus compare His coming to the days of Noah?  Simple, we are still unaware humans.  What's even worse, most preachers in the church today won't even talk about Biblical prophecy because it's too controversial.  Too many opinions about it, and it scares people.  How's that for rationale?  We have sirens to warn us about tornados, but no one in the church is warning about the pending dangers the Bible predicted would happen? Almost 1/3 of the Bible is prophecy, and yet you don't hear any messages about it?  Come on....doesn't that seem just a bit strange to you?  Why not ask your preacher about this? I would be interested in knowing what he has to say.

Now, why am I picking on preachers again? Because the news reminded me about preachers. They are like the government spiritually bankrupt, they are like Donald Trump more about entertainment than substance, and they are like air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job.  

I think its time we had  another "reformation" this time taking the church back from those who are bankrupt, entertaining, and asleep. (that would include preachers who tell us there is no hell, and God does not know the future)

Lets see, my tag line once again is what?  Keeping it honest and truthful. (just testing you to see if you are staying awake) 

K

Wednesday
Apr132011

The Dark Little Secrets

Have you ever discovered something that for the longest time you were clueless on?  When you discover that there is either another side to the story, or you get the real details about the incident, you not only feel relieved, but justified in knowing the whole truth.  I don't think any of us likes knowing just a part of the story, we like to be informed from the beginning to the end.  Sometimes, we don't get the whole truth, because of the dark little secrets that are held back.  The part of any story where someone may be implicated or exposed, that is the part gets excluded.  I believe there is a story line in scripture that is not being told. Is the God of the Bible being properly represented by today's pulpits?  Is God only about love and mercy, or is there another side of this God the church is afraid to defend or expose.  It the God of the Bible a warrior, and has He  changed since the days of the old Testament?  Yes the Bible describes Him as a warrior and no He has not changed since the O.T.

 

Isaiah 42:13

 13The LORD goes out like a mighty man,
like a man of war he stirs up his zeal;
he cries out, he shouts aloud,
he shows himself mighty against his foes.

Revelation 19:11 and 15

 11Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.   15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

 

Revelation of John 6:16

16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb

 

I think this verse in the Book of Revelation is interesting; "wrath of the Lamb" gosh that is an oxymoron. However, I find it exceedingly interesting that this aspect of God is not talked about ever in the Church. It's as if this side of God is missing.  Doesn't that disturb you?  Congregations across the land are getting only half the story, and even if the story they hear is a good story, it only half the story. Just a little honesty here!  Where is the clarity on who God really is?    We hear about His servanthood, His laying down His for us, and His everlasting love that He has poured out upon all mankind. Yes and amen on all of this, but is there more to who He is?  

The dark little secret is He is also a God of justice and righteousness. Why is this so distasteful in todays culture?  We love when the hero's in our movies kick butt, and kill the bad guys.  I have been in the movie theater when the crowd cheers when bad guys get mulched.  But when it comes to God, we need Him to be this loving, caring, easy going God, who won't hurt a flea. Well, got news for you. Look at the verse above, the same Lamb of God whose death on the cross brought salvation to the world is the same lamb of God who is running the destruction in the Book of Revelation.  Stop denying that God is both Savior and Judge, because one day you will stand before Him either as one who will receive your reward for serving him, or your punishment for rejecting Him. Your choice....

How will God judge us? John Piper has a four minute clip that you might want to watch. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWzH1vdo1pI

Tuesday
Apr122011

Time to Reflect

Who has time anymore to sit and reflect?  Come on, there's just too much to do, and to many places to be. I know the drill.  However, one of the joys of living is to make memories, and then enjoy them by looking back. The same is true when we remember the first time we heard the salvation story of God's love through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus upon the cross.  What a great memory to reflect upon when we came to faith. Did you know we stay in faith the same way we come to it?  We keep the Jesus of the cross at the center of our lives. The reason is, because without the cross we have no salvation. There is no provision for my sinfulness outside of the cross.  There is no relationship with God outside of the cross, we have no means of communication with God without the shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins. Without the cross we have no power to overcome sin.  Without the cross we have no Holy Spirit, no blessed hope, no reason to be the Church in fellowship with one another. 

The cross is best defined by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18

 

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 

Lets face it, when we reflect upon the cross, it reminds us that salvation took the sacrifice of God's Son upon a cross, the Roman instrument of torture, to connect us to this powerful gift of forgiveness.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOY0mjjmx8Y

 

If you'd enjoy getting this blog on a regular basis Monday through Friday click on the orange rss feed at the bottom of the page and all new posts will be sent to you automatically.  Until next time, keep it honest and truthful.....K

Monday
Apr112011

Revival? Whats that?

Recently I received an email from someone quoting a response to a revival now happening in Alabama.

"This garbage is nothing more than the counterfeit revival of Pensacola - Part II. Don't let anyone con you. It is just more of the same old ridiculous rubbish from the same old deceiver - John Kilpatrick. It began in Kansas City, then Toronto, then Pensacola, then Lakeland, now it is Alabama. It is the same old lie from the same old liars repackaged."

He was pretty strong in his response to some of the past "so-called" revivals. I am sure that there were some sincere believers who benefited from these meetings, and walked away with God's provision of healing or a manifestation of a miracle, because I believe God honors true sincere faith.  With that said, I believe God will hold the leadership accountable for falsifying God's work by the manipulation of the flesh.  My wife played piano for a traveling evangelist who had her replay a song repeatedly to create an emotional effect on the audience.  These kinds of tricks of the trade are not of God but are of the emotional flesh.  I personally don't think this honors God, or does it teach people about God in the long run.  An honest encounter with God will last a lifetime, but a hyped up "emotional meeting" will only last a season, and in the end will do more harm that good. 

George Otis Jr who produces videos on "revival and transformation" says: "The seduction of Christianity is often very subtle and various Christian principles are targeted. The devil has already succeeded to infiltrate evangelical and charismatic Christendom through seduction to follow after a counterfeit  revival."

The Apostle Paul recognized this when he wrote:

2 Corinthians 11:14

14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

So how do we know what revival is?  Here are some thoughts that might be helpful to recognize if revival is really and truly happening. 

1. Repentance:  is there a turning away from sin, and lifestyle that is dishonoring to God?

2. Restitution: is there a spirit of making wrong rights right?  Grace forgives, but justice is often needed for the outside world to know God is at work in your life.

3. Hunger for God's word:  There has to be a deep desire to learn more about God and His desire to build a relationship with you.

4. Holy Spirit presence: God spirit leads you in truth and rescues you from yourself, and your sinful self centered ways. He  brings a humility into your life that makes everyone else more important than yourself. 

5. Fellowship with other believers to do the work of God:  This is essential for growth and nurturing, and sets a foundation for evangelism, (telling others about the gospel) good works, (social justice) and personal spiritual formation to grow into the person God created you to become. 

Revival isn't about the hoopla, it's about change, it's about dedication, and it's about vision. Out of the revivals of the past, whole continents were touched and changed as a result of a true revival. 

Revival is the heart cry of those of us who want to see the Church become the voice of God again, as it was in generations past. In order for that to happen, we need change in the attitudes of our church leadership.  Too many pastors have strayed from the scriptures to preach a brand of Christianity that just isn't Biblical. 

Today's preachers are not warning and they are not teaching their congregations about what the Bible really says.  Recently a church told a breakfast speaker that a video clip of Billy Graham giving an invitation to accept Jesus was too harsh.  Come on, a classic salvation clip of Billy Graham is too harsh?   Sorry, but Billy has never been too harsh. 

Friends, keeping things honest and truthful is not easy, and many times we would rather skip it and keep things at peace.  Churches or ministries that will not tell the whole truth will eventually fade and the message they do preach will be totally forgotten, because it isn't God's message. 

Take a moment watch this clip, and ask yourself before God in prayer. Is this preacher right?  If so, what can I do to take a stand for God in my Church?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeVzyDU7_-I&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Until next time, keep it honest and truthful...K

 


 

 

 

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