Posts tagged ‘Christianity’

August 11, 2012

HIStory, the Here & How, and the Hope of Heaven

Some time around 1,982 years ago the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ ascended with the clouds of heaven up to the Ancient of Days (cf Daniel 7:13). Having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He left the glories of heaven and came to this sin-cursed earth, took on flesh and lived a sinless life — obedient unto death, even death on a cross. What a miracle of love: God became a man! That part of the blessed work of redemption, as determined since before the foundation of the world by intraTrinitarian Covenant (pactum salutis) was accomplished in the fullness of time, in accordance with divine decree. Christ came forth, to faithfully perform the atonement for the sins of His people, as typified in the old testament, by perfect righteousness and substitutionary propitiation; as He proclaimed upon the cross, “it is finished.”

The third day thereafter He rose from the dead, and that calls for a never ending chorus of hallelujahs. It behooves us not only to learn and study the terminology used to expound upon the revealed Word of God, but also to rejoice and to faithfully receive and meditate upon the blessed historical truth of the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures. Worthy is the Lamb of God Who was slain. All praise and glory to God Who is blessed forever, amen.

With the glorified God-Man reigning at the right hand of Majesty on High, the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, regenerates sinners to new life in Christ Jesus; comforts, counsels and empowers His people, and seals us for the day of redemption. How then should we live? Never forget that we’re now spiritually alive and well, with the Spirit Himself dwelling within us. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13). Therefore not only are you a part of His body which is a living temple, but also your body itself is a temple! Mindful of being thus set apart as Holy, we pray for God’s will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We are no longer slaves to sin, but rather bond servants of Jesus Christ. Let us go forth, not on our own strength, but abiding in Him, obeying His commandments. This indeed is a most gracious gift from above. For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23).

In light of all this, zeal for God’s glory ought to burn within us, as the Holy Spirit quickens us and fans the flames within our souls! Indeed man’s chief end is to glorify God, and how better to effectuate that purpose than to bring every thought, word and deed captive to Christ. His kingdom is advancing on earth, and we are the instruments. Onward Christian soldiers! Away with the all-too-typical attitude of the church at large today, that our tickets are punched for heaven so lets just get by until the end. No, no, no! People are perishing — where is your heart for the lost? Secular humanists are promoting their agenda more desperately than ever (without even realizing that their efforts are akin to spitting into the wind) — where is your respect for God’s law?  The anti-God forces are fervently promoting compromise of His word — where is your steadfastness in the truth? What, its not “cool” to stand on the timeless, true Word of God? Are you worried about how you are seen by the world’s eyes? Well I’m here to tell ya – it’s God’s eyes that count. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). That’s in the Bible. Nevermind the news propaganda nor the latest political campaign lie — where is your faith?  OK so you went to Chick-Fil-A on appreciation day, you do well — but is that the extent of your activism? Bottom line is whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Now zealous exhortations notwithstanding, you can’t just go out and win arguments by yelling louder and being meaner than ungodly adversaries. We are the church militant, but our weapons are not carnal. We must overcome evil with good, hate with love. You’re absolutely right to think that you can’t do that. As a matter of fact, Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). What does that mean? Well it means what it says, apart from Christ and His indwelling Spirit you can do NOTHING… but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

Let us close with the comforting contemplation of hearing those words “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23), after having lived a life dedicated to the glory of God, in His service towards the advancement of His kingdom. We may not see the fruition of a return to foundational principles in this country during our lifetimes, but it will happen. Not only here but all the nations shall be blessed, in the Seed of promise which is Christ Jesus. While we may be long gone from this place, having shuffled off these mortal coils; the triumph of the sovereign, enthroned Lord Jesus Christ and His church over all opponents in time and history is inevitable. Then comes the end, when all things shall be made new. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more sin. This is our blessed hope of glory, when we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).

 

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July 17, 2012

Hard Pressed, Hemmed In, and On The Horns…

Christian Americans know that this nation has fallen disastrously far from the biblical principles of it’s founding, and is reaping the results of the continuing failure to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We also know beyond any doubt that He Who ascended to the right hand of God the Father almighty is the One to Whom every knee shall bow. Standing on the timeless, true word of God we know that just as the promise of the Messiah (the Seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15) came to pass in the fullness of time, He shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead. Hallelujah. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:25). Many of us overlook this critical revelation.

We are hard-pressed on every side in this time and place because we are in the period of advancement of the kingdom of God, and the age-old battle rages on. Our Lord Jesus Christ reigns in heaven even now, as the sovereign Holy Spirit calls the Father’s children to covenant in the invisible church, to be living stones in a living temple, built upon the chief Cornerstone. While this is an indescribably blessed status for us to have, it puts us at enmity with our own flesh, the seed of the serpent, and the world (culture) that we are still smack dab in the middle of. The secular humanist forces have been doggedly advancing their anti-god agenda here in the United States of America, a nation founded as a constitutional republic under God.

We are hemmed in by wickedness in high places. Big bankers control the political process so that the two-party system is a stark reality, and we are limited to a choice of either one or the other in electing leaders, especially for the highest office in the land. A complicit major media, along with an electorate that is largely ignorant and gullible, helps maintain the status quo. Any candidate who is not a puppet for the system is systematically excluded. Of course our ideal candidate is a bonafide, born-again Christian whose faith is not separated from his politics, and who has biblically informed positions on all the issues. Let us continue to pray and work for such even as we realize that there is no one so qualified in the running at present. The closest we have come to a realistic alternative to the status quo is Ron Paul, a professing Christian whose positions at least consistently align with the U.S. Constitution. He would end all unjust wars and foreign entanglements and cut a TRILLION dollars in government spending. Now that’s real change. Ron Paul has been the Christian’s best hope by far for election to the office of President of these United States.

We are on the horns of a dilemma as the fat lady appears to be clearing her throat and getting ready to sing the end of the Ron Paul revolution. Let’s see what happens at the Elephant Convention, and hold fast with prayerful hope for what would be no less than miraculous at this point. Even so, its time to square up to the consideration of an Obama vs Romney race for President. First of all, as difficult as it is to do, we must face the fact that once the opposition nominee is officially determined, there is no viable third option. Careful, prayerful consideration has led me away from vowing to cast a write-in, or determining to opt out with a no-vote. There shall surely come a day when Christians will no longer be bound by the cords of the wicked, but for now we are indeed hemmed in (see above).

Yes, it is a sad state of affairs when Christians must vote for the “lesser of two evils” who is an adherent of Mormonism, a religion which teaches the abominable blasphemy that Jesus and Satan are brothers. Yet, with a clothes pin on our noses if necessary, we must vote for Romney because any other vote, or a no-vote, is effectively a vote for Obama, who is undeniably proven to be an unmitigated disaster. Obama’s particular anti-American deception and destructiveness must be cut short. For the sake of damage control alone, Obama has got to go. Without going into a lengthy political analysis, lets just look at life and death: Romney says he is now pro life; Obama has proven to be unswervingly pro murder. Romney favors repeal of Roe v Wade; Obama glorifies it. Romney agrees with parental consent; Obama eschews it. Romney has been on record supporting de-funding of Planned Parenthood; Obama reveres it. Romney is not in favor of embryonic stem cell research; Obama aggressively supports it. Romney has promised to scrap obamacare which if left unfettered, only the Lord knows how many will be harmed.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8). Remember this: we are not violating or compromising our commitment to scriptural doctrine by making a practical political choice in voting, and we should not equate the two. Voting for Romney against Obama is not making a compromise to nor an endorsement of Mormonism. This election is just one battle in a long-term war. If we insist on writing-in someone or voting for a 3rd party candidate who we know will not win, we are only contributing to losing this battle for whatever its worth, and each and every battle makes a difference. Likewise, the only statement a no-vote makes is that Christians have a lack of political clout. We cannot keep ceding battle victories to the greater evil without things continuing to get worse and worse. We are not compromising biblical standards by not letting idealism deter us from the realistic political action we need to take for the greater good.

George Bush prevailed over Al Gore by a mere five hundred-something votes in Florida, giving him the electoral total for victory. If only 500-some-odd more Bush votes had been no-votes or gone to a 3rd party candidate instead, we would’ve had Al Gore for President. Something to think about as we bite the bullet and vote for Romney this year.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

 

June 24, 2012

Is this Your Religion?

Puritan Audio Devotional: Is this your religion?

J.A. James, challenging

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