Last evening I spent time with our Pastor and his family after Church. When his Dad retired to bed for the evening he announced to everyone, “I’ll see you all next Monday.” It took me a minute or so to get that one. He meant that he was going to bed and he would see everyone tomorrow. We all got a good laugh out of it. I think because I did not get it at first. It is funny.
I began to think. There will come a day when we will all depart this earth. What about after that departure? Will I see you again? Will I see my loved ones again?
This is a question only they can answer. Each one of us has been given a will and the freedom to exercise it. I can choose to follow Jesus Christ or I have the freedom to not follow Jesus Christ. Now, I believe with all of my heart if we do not follow Jesus Christ we will be sorry for all eternity.
You see, there is a real place called hell and real people go there. There is coming a day not far off when we will all stand before God and give account for our lives. Those who have never trusted Jesus Christ will stand before Him as a Just and Holy Judge. He will pass judgment and proclaim, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” These are the most sad words of all ages.
Do you know Jesus? Even more important does Jesus know you? Will we see one another next Monday morning here or in Heaven?
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.”
When I was a young man about fourteen my parents divorced. This was traumatic to say the least. I am afraid that some of you my readers have experienced this too. It was during this time in my life that I developed a bleeding ulcer. What a joy. Not!
I went on in life and basically ignored this bleeding ulcer for the next fourteen years. Then one night I passed out a few times and the last time I woke up in the emergency room at the local hospital. I met my new gastrointerologist for the first time. He treated me for many years and I now consider myself healed.
The reason I take this trip down not so pleasant memory lane is because of this thought in Luke 24:32, “And they said one unto another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Do you suffer with spiritual heartburn? I hope you do. I would not wish the other stuff on anyone. Spiritual heartburn is a condition that all Christians need to have.
As you all know I enjoy going to the mission to preach chapel service once a month. I always try to let people know when I am going so if they have any donations that I can take them when I go. I have had loads before that I had to take both bench seats out of the van to make room for everythingl
I will never forget overhearing one of the men talking; as they unloaded a pickup truck, that the one thing he missed the most was sugar for his coffee. Yes, the tears ran. Something so simple that you and I take for granted. I cannot begin to tell you what an impact that had on me.
Then my wife saw a post on social media that the mission needed eggs. Her heart broke and we bought several dozen eggs. God allowed us to have some extra money at that moment to help with the need. We could by no means do much; but, we did what we believe we could.
Then again I put the call out for the mission this month and another friend responded with countless items like aspirin and razors. This family is an “extreme coupon” family and it allows them to have their needs met and to meet the needs of other. I know that I was deeply convicted when I saw their gift to the mission. Here is the thing. If we are going to do this we have to make a plan and execute it. It takes work to do this kind of thing. I will say it is well worth the investment. When you see the joy on their faces for a pan of brownies or some cookies. It makes it worth it all.
Look at Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Just remember, you will NEVER out give God.
Picture this. You are driving down the road and suddenly you pass what appears to be an old Church. You do a little research and find that it is reported to be the oldest Church in the county. There are weeds, trees and all kinds of debris around the building. On the front of the building is a sign, “Posted: No Trespassing!”.
I was going to post a picture of the Church building I write about. Due to unfortunate computer problems that will not be possible at this writing. I do hope that we will take to heart what I am going to say today.
This Church building is a sad testimony to a once thriving congregation. I know; because, I grew up within one mile of this building. I remember seeing the wooden windows open for services. I remember seeing cars in the parking lot. Now, only weeds and trees fill the parking lot.
If we are not careful the physical state of this Church building will become the spiritual state of our Churches. Remember; the Church is not the building, it is the people. We have become careless in our Christian life and we need an old fashioned revival. I do not mean people hanging from the light fixtures. I mean real revival where lives are forever changed. If we would simply put away the junk of this world and come to the place where all we want is Jesus Christ and nothing else we would see true revival. Again, I am not talking about this fake, garbage that is called revival on the so-called Christian television stations.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. It is time ladies and gentlemen for God’s people to get right and turn the world upside down for Jesus.
Yesterday afternoon we saw several tornadoes come through central Indiana. Out of all the damage there was not one report of injury. Praise the LORD! I sat with my eyes and ears glued to the iPad and cell phone watching to see if we needed to evacuate as we don’t have a basement. In one place a travel trailor was picked up from one house and slammed into the neighbor’s house. Again, no injuries.
As I was thinking about these severe storms a passage of Scripture came to my mind. Look at I Kings 19:11-12, “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
God is speaking to us today; but, we get too caught up in the wind, fire and the noise of this world to listen to Him. One day He will have our undivided attention and we will listen. He will pronounce judgment on those who have rejected Him and they will be cast into hell for all eternity. For those who know Him as Saviour we will be ushered into Heaven for all eternity.
Yet, God continues to speak out of love because He does not want anyone to go to hell. If you go there it is your own decision and there will be nobody else to blame. Jesus Christ died to make a way for every human being to get to Heaven; but, we must trust Him to do so.
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.
What do you say to someone that tells you that they do not have enough gas to get to Church and they don’t have the money to get the needed gas? I hate to admit it; but, there was a day that I might have responded in a way that was not very Christ-like.
Well, let me say that I have changed my tune on that one. We live in a day of financial turmoil to say the least. Far too many of my friends are just a breath away from foreclosure, bankruptcy and the like. What do you do?
We need to listen to God’s Holy Spirit speak to us about what to do. We must be careful not to be an enabler to someone that experiences financial problems due to a sinful lifestyles. If a person cannot get to Church or have money to get to Church because they gamble it all away then we need to get to the root of the problem and deal with it and go from there.
We need to exercise discernment along with compassion. I love the words of Jude 22, “and of some have compassion, making a difference:” What a difference we can make in the lives of others when we show them the compassion of Christ and not some religiosity. We have to be real with people. If we are going to win others then we need to show them a believable example of Christ in us and that He is their hope for all things. Oh, and by the way, it will change your tune when you experience these things firsthand like I have experienced.
The old saying goes that just because a person is in the Church does not make them a Christian any more than a person standing in a garage is a car. We get a good laugh out of this; but, there are people that think they are a Christian because they are American. You have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ first and that makes you a Christian.
I had a tremendous response to yesterdays post about “You Are Not Alone”. As I was thinking about this it dawned on me that I am not alone because I am “in Christ”. This made my heart jump for joy. Look at Romans 12:5, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” So, I am not alone; but, I also have an enormous support system called The Body of Christ. This should give every one of us great hope! It does me.
The problem comes in when I am not what I should be. The times that I am allowing the flesh to control me and some dear Brother or Sister needs a kind word or deed and I just ignore the need and go on in my life and fail to meet their need. This ought not to be! The problem is that we do it. Now, what are we going to do about it? We must confess and forsake it and go on.
Next time you feel all alone reach out to Jesus because He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Then reach out to a mature Brother or Sister and you will realize that you are not alone because you are in the Body of Christ and Christ is in God.
As I was driving around our neighborhood I noticed that very few people park their vehicles in their garages. Their garages are often full of stuff (junk). Some have set up TV viewing areas in their garages. I have seen these full of people watching sporting events.
No matter how much stuff people accumulate they will not be fulfilled until they meet Jesus Christ and trust Him for salvation. So many people walk through this life lonely, alone or just feeling alone. It is rampant; but, people most often don’t want to admit it.
The other day our son was watching a Gaither Homecoming video recorded in New York City. He kept playing a song by Natalie Grant. The one part of the song that stuck out to me were the words, “I am not alone”. I was moved to tears listening to this song. I do not care for the song; but, those words struck a chord with me. My mind went to the Scriptures in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Oh; by the way, as you pray today please pray for my wife. She will be speaking at a ladies conference at 2pm Indiana time. The conference starts earlier than this; but, she is scheduled to take the platform at 2pm. I know she will appreciate it.
Remember honey, “I am not alone” because you have God’s Word on it.