A Serious Question To Answer

Today is a day capitalized by people that do not want to take ownership for their own actions.  We have all heard the excuses, “The devil made me do it.” or “My parents spanked me  and that made me this way.”  I am sorry to say; but, these excuses will not fly in God’s economy.

We will all stand before God one day and we will give an account for everything we have done and for the things left undone that we should have done.

There is one very important thing that is not being done today by God’s people that needs to be done.  We are not reaching the people around us known as the world like we should.  I have heard all the excuses.  I am tired of hearing excuses spue forth from my mouth.  It is time for God’s people to wake up, get up, go out and share the gospel with people.  We are watching people go out into eternity each and every day; but, what are we doing about it.  Don’t be like Cain when the LORD questioned him about the death of his brother.  Look at Genesis 4:9, “And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The rhetorical answer to Cain’s question is a resounding “Yes!”.  We are our brother’s keeper.  We are responsible for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.  If we fail to share this with them we will stand before God one day and be ashamed and we will lose rewards for not doing what God has called every one of His children to do.  It is pretty simple if we will just push past our fear and go.

So, how are you doing?

Are You Ready?

On Wednesday evening while patiently waiting for the ladies Bible study to come to a close we heard a scream.  Our Pastor and I walked quickly to the roadside and saw taillights down the road.  I told him to tell my wife I would be back.  While I was waiting for the diesel truck I am borrowing to warm up to start Pastor jumped in with me.  We took off to the scene.

What an experience!  There was a small vehicle like a Plymouth Neon or something similar.  A man was walking around the vehicle and looking off the side of the road.  A female was doing the same thing.  When we pulled up the female walked to the front of the vehicle and began to look it over.  The male told us in poor English that they had hit a big buck.  By the looks of their vehicle they may have bumped into a big buck; but, they did not hit one.  The only damage was their front license place was bent at the bottom in the middle.  There was one casualty.  It appeared that the big buck stepped on a small frog in the roadway as he crossed in front of the car and was bumped.  We all had a good laugh over that.

The man nor the woman were hurt.  They were deeply shaken up; but, unharmed.  As they began to leave I reached into my shirt pocket and got a gospel tract that has a smiley face on the front and says, “Smile, God loves you!”.  I put it into his hand and clasped my hands around his and I told him, “When you calm down, read this.”  I don’t know if he ever will; but, one thing is for sure.  I did my part in giving him the gospel.  It is up to him to do with the gospel as he wants.

My point?  I Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”.  You never know what situation you will come upon and you had better be ready.  In the early years of my ministry I was exhorted many times to, “Be ready to preach, pray, sing or die.”  I assure I would rather preach or pray and I will die trying to sing.

So, how are you doing?

A Closely Guarded Secret

I have a short list of things I enjoy doing.  One is photography.  Another is cooking.  I enjoy cooking and I really enjoy making my own barbeque sauce.  It seems to be a hit wherever I take it.  A friend asked how to make it so as to quiet the roaring tummies of her children by making sloppy joes with my barbeque sauce.  I joke that it is a closely guarded secret (and it is) because I don’t normally share it.  This time to help our dear friends I will send it to her.

This set me to thinking.  I also read a preacher friend’s post on social media about sitting publicly reading his Bible and getting comments on it.  This really cause the old grey matter to start churning and the squirrels began running.

People in our day can have Bible apps on their phone and all other devices.  This way it makes it easier to carry around.  It also makes it far less obvious what you are reading and carrying.  If this is our reasoning for having God’s Precious Word on an electronic device SHAME ON US!

This world is going to hell in a hand basket and we are shrinking and shrinking back.  This is not helping those unsaved around us.  It is time for us to stand up, go out and speak up!

So, how are you doing?

Your Heart

I enjoy watching the local minor league baseball team play.  Sometimes they are hot as fresh volcano lava.  Other times they are as cold as an Indiana winter day.  It is interesting to see the crowd’s reaction when they are winning and when they are losing.

When they are winning the people go wild.  Fans are on their feet and shouting accolades.  When things go the other way it is a different story.  I am sure that Chicago Cubs fans know what I am talking about.  Yes, I am a Cubs fan too.  My Grandpa was a Cubs fan and so am I.

That is an interesting thought.  Some people apply that same logic to salvation.  “My Grandpa was a Christian and my dad was a Christian and I am a Christian.  I was born in America so I am a Christian.”  I have heard this many times before.  How sad.

People seem to want to “do” many different things.  I mean some people will travel all over the country and even the world to go to seminars on how to do this or that.  Thinking all the while that they are Christians and a doing what God wants.  They are following the god of this world and not the only True God.  It is not what we do.  It is only what Jesus has done for us that ensures eternal life.

Look at Joel 2:12, “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:”  Everyone must turn to Jesus with their whole heart and trust Him for salvation.  He will save you if you will trust Him.

So, how are you doing?

Toot

My wife plays different instruments.  She mainly plays the piano; but, she also plays the trumpet.  Thankfully she has loaned out her trumpet and that makes it difficult for her to play it.  I don’t mind her playing it.  I mind that it is so loud.  I really do enjoy her trumpet playing; but, as long as her trumpet is on loan it is silent.

As I began to think about this in a spiritual light some things dawned on me.  The reason a trumpet is used in the Bible is often as a warning.  The trumpet was used as an alarm.  Look at Joel 2:1, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; ”

The Bible talks about if a trumpet sounds an alarm that is unfamiliar that the people were not to listen to it.  This sounds like solid counsel for today too.  Far too many Christians are not sounding the alarm.  Take a look around Christian.  The world is going to hell in a hand basket and we sit by idle in our padded pews in our air-conditioned buildings that we have built as shrines to sports.  You know; the multipurpose annex.  I am not against them.  I am against them being the focus.

We have given up the trumpet for many things.  We no longer use the trumpet to sound alarms in a day that alarms need to be sounding one right after another.

So, how are you doing?

See a favorite song of mine “Blow The Trumpet In Zion” here.

Multitudes

I had the pleasure of spending time with a dear friend yesterday evening.  I enjoyed hearing about God’s faithfulness and the expanding ministry God had entrusted him with.  It was awesome.

One thing that has been on my mind most of yesterday; even before our time together was this verse of Scripture in Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”  This word decision means concision, or, threshing.  It refers to the sharp threshing instrument.  In other words this is a life altering decision.  There are multitudes facing this type of decision.

Where is the Church on this?  We have set before us the example of Jesus Christ Himself being a soul-winner; but, do we follow His example.  My friend is doing everything he possibly can through the power of the Holy Spirit and His enabling to win as many people as possible.

Where are Christians on this?  We have set before us a challenge from Jesus in verses like Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15; but, what are we doing with them?  I am afraid that most Church members are trying to tip toe through the tulips and make it safely home with little or no impact.

This is not what Jesus has called us to.  He has called us to minister to the “multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision:”.  These might be in the grocery store or gas station; but, we are called to take the gospel to them no matter who they are or where they are at.

So, how are you doing?

Tragedy

I am sure many of you; my readers, have seen the news footage of the sprint car race in New York where Kevin Ward Jr. was tragically killed.  Tony Stewart was operating the car that hit Ward Jr., thus killing him.  I don’t care what your racing preferences are, this is a tragic event.  I cannot imagine the grief and guilt that Mr. Stewart will carry, quite possibly for the rest of his life.

As tragic as this event is, there is another even that is equally as tragic and possibly more so.  Look at Ezekiel 33:4, “Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.”  What this passage of Scripture is talking about is the sounding of a trumpet as a warning and the person hearing the trumpet not heeding it’s warning.  The Scriptures are telling us that if we refuse to hear the warnings and heed the warnings that our own blood will be upon our own hands.  In other words, we will be responsible for ourselves.

On the other side of that issue, if we hear the trumpet sound a warning and we fail to warn others then their blood is on our hands.  We are responsible for their death.  Let me take this a little further.  The Word of God has sounded the warning that Jesus is coming soon.  The Word of God has shown us that we are responsible to share the gospel with those around us.  Let me ask you, “Are you being the biblical ‘watchman’ that God has called you to be?”  Sobering thought I know.  I would say that most of us just let life slip on by us along with opportunities that God has orchestrated for us to share the gospel with others.  Now, their blood is on our hands.

So, how are you doing?

Be Ye Glad

Yesterday’s post was an indictment against the Church as it is today.  Rightfully so, we need to get back to where we have come from.  We have moved so far from Biblical Christianity that I wonder if Jesus even recognizes His Church anymore.  Kind of like a spouse making an overnight change for the worse.

For those who have remained faithful we have many promises.  I love the words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 65:17-18, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

These words should bring us hope.  We will not always live in a sin cursed world where pain and suffering run rampant.  One day our Heavenly Father will “make all things new”.  The earth as we know it will melt with a fervent heat and there will be a new Heaven and a new earth.  I look forward to that day and I hope you do to.

Until then we have been given the awesome privilege of show others how to know Jesus as their Saviour so they too can enjoy eternity with Him.  What are you and I doing to help others to get to Heaven?  We give a little money in the offering plate.  At the dinner table we ask God to help some poor soul be saved.  If that is all then you and I are of all men most miserable.  We need to get out of our glass houses and share the gospel with others.

So, how are you doing?

Where Are The Kids?

On Friday evening I had the pleasure of going to the mission to preach chapel.  It was an unusual service.  The room was unusually hot, the men were unusually tired, the song service was unusually short and the sermon started unusually early and ended unusually early.

When I pulled up to the mission I noticed that the fenced play yard was empty.  This is unusual.  Then the thought came to me, “Where are the children?”  I thought to myself that this would preach and make a good blog topic.  So, here we go.

I can tell you where the children have gone.  We lost a generation of our young people because their hair was unacceptably too long and we let them know about it.  This piece of wisdom came from Pastor Bob Hooten.  The sad reality is that he is spot on correct.  As a result we have lost them and their children.  Why would you send your children to a Church where they are condemned for having long hair?  They have not and as a result we have lost them.

Go ahead and say I have compromised, I don’t care.  I know that I am right on this one.  The hair and clothing do not grow to the soul.  We need to be more concerned with the soul below the long hair and earrings.  No, I do not like long hair on boy and short hair on girls.  I do not like earrings on men and I do not like body piercing or body art of any kind.  Again, these don’t grow to the soul.  They are a testimony to the soul inside crying out for someone to love them to Jesus.  Will you?  I hope and pray that you and I will take the time and devote the resources to show this lost and dying world that there is more to Jesus than what we have shown them in the past.  Look at Jude vs. 22-23, “And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

So, how are you doing?

 

Faces

For many years I had the privilege of being a reserve police officer, worked on an ambulance, served a very short time with the fire department and the biggest chunk of time I sat in the dispatch center.  You hear all kinds of things related to the job.  Some things are superstition.  Some are just plain lies.  There are some that make you say, “Hum…”.

Someone shared with me one day that firefighting was once termed, “Dancin’ with the devil”.  He then told me that if you look at a picture of flames that somewhere within the flames you will see a satanic looking face.  We looked at a couple photos online at the departments photos.  We did see what he was talking about.  I don’t know that it works for all photos.

This all came back to mind when I was reading Isaiah 13:8, “And they shall be afraid:  pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth:  they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.”  The notes in my Bible program says that “flames” means faces of the flames.

If we who know Jesus Christ would ponder this for a little while I think it would energize us to reach out to win the world around us to Jesus Christ.  There is a real place called hell and people go there for eternity.  It is our responsibility to stand in their way and beg them to go with Jesus.

So, how are you doing?