Friday, September 21, 2012

Choosing teams

Have you ever made a choice to play on a certain team, thinking you'd win, only to find that
team would be the losing team?
What spiritual team do you want to be on?
Well, right now you can choose the team you want to be on, and know for sure the team that's gonna win. It's your choice to be on the winning team, or, your choice to be on the losing team.

Side with the winner or loser- your choice

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Who likes being on a losing team? Especially then the losing team has to pay a deep penalty.
Now, I've heard people say it would be 'more fun' to be on the losing team.  I can only think their
opinion of fun is a bit 'off'.  If being in darkness, having no love, hope, friendship or companionship is 'fun', they are in for the surprise they're gonna wish they could get out of.  Hell is not going to be fun for one second. There will be no water, no sunshine, no gentle breeze, no flowers, no sweet aromas, no rest, and no way out. Nothing of the comforts and pleasures as we presently know of. You spirit will suffer and be tormented. And, there will be no loving God.  Hell is a holding 'place' and a taste of what's later to come in which the sentence for your sin's penalty will never be paroled or a reduction of your life sentence.  And, your fellow inmates will be evil spirits who loathe you. There will be no loved ones you can cuddle with, no music that will sound pleasant to your ears, just nothing but pure hell as you can never imagine. There will be no fun being in torment and punishment.

Here are a few key facts and passages you need to know so you can choose the team you want to be on.

This explains what sort of things gets a person sent to hell.
The biggest Deception
The leader of the losing team, the devil, is doing everything to get you to not choose the winning team. He wants you to think his team is the 'more fun' team to be on. Right now, he wants you to  think about you, you having 'fun', you getting the things you want right now. As long as he has you thinking of you so you can be happy and content, he's got your mind controlled and away from
about the ultimate consequences of being on his losing team.

The choice is entirely yours - face victory or consequences

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If you're not for God, then by default you're for the devil.
If you do not accept Jesus into your life and heart, as your Lord and Savior, (he's already paid in full the penalty for your sins, but you have to acknowledge you're helpless in that department and you need him), you will have to pay the price yourself, which will be spiritual death in hell and then the Lake of Fire.   Sin cannot enter heaven. 

The Victor over Hell and Death
Jesus died so you do not have to go to hell.  Jesus came to save sinners. Join his team.

Choose Jesus. Choose the winning team. It's the better choice for life now and forever.

We can celebrate victory already in our Lord, Jesus

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 It's all about your spiritual life.  God created man in his likeness- and that's the spirit part which 
will never die.  Winning team gets to be with God forever. Losing team gets to suffer forever.

All praise and thanks to our Lord, Jesus for all he's done so we can celebrate our spiritual victory.

Those with Christ will have a wonderful time in heaven, while in hell, there will be misery, disappoint, torment, and fire. Fun will be non-existent there. If that was in your plans you're gonna
be very let down from being deceived again.

Until next time, walking in the Light of The Truth along that narrow path. There's room for all.

Monday, September 17, 2012

When a preacher carries a gun

I heard someone make the statement that it doesn't seem right for a preacher to carry a gun. I think that person might have been questioning how can a 'man of God' also have a job that calls for him
to carry of a firearm with the possibility of shooting someone?  In other words, how could a
preacher voluntarily accept a job requiring him to carry a gun with the potential of killing someone?

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Let me attempt to answer that question.

Carrying a firearm legally is meant for protection or for hunting. Law enforcement police, detectives, security guards, military, and elite groups trained for special missions to combat terrorist attacks and the such, use weapons to stop or halt criminal acts and prevent the loss of lives of innocent bystanders, hostages and themselves.  It's necessary to carry weapons in order to have a chance to overpower whom they need to 'battle' with, and who most likely are packing fire power.  Men and women in uniform willingly step into a potentially dangerous line of work to protect lives, and the property of others. We should be thankful to those willing to work in positions that come with some degree of personal danger.

So, how can a man be a preacher, who preaches the Word of God on Sunday, also carry a firearm
Monday through Friday?

A church pulpit

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Simple. A man can wear multiple hats or uniforms. Wearing a robe in the pulpit is one in which he answered the high calling to spread the gospel of 'good news'.  This man's heart is concerned about the souls of people destined to hell and the Lake of Fire where there will absolutely be no hope of escaping.  He is busy spreading the Gospel of Truth so people can hear the Word of God to know
and understand their spirit needs a Savior.

People are spiritually dead and unless restitution is made for the penalty of their sins, spiritually,
they are going to die in their sins.

Preachers give the good news of the gospel so people can know there is a way to be in good graces with God. The only way approved by God calls upon by faith to invite his Son into your heart to be your Savior and Lord, because his blood shed fully satisfied and paid your sin penalty. With Jesus
you are saved from spiritual death. You'll never taste death if you are 'in Christ'.  Hence the term, 'absent from the body, present with the Lord.'  Your fleshly body will perish, but the real you, your spirit, will never die or be away from the Lord. On the other hand, if you die and your sins have not been paid for or forgiven, you face judgement for your sins. Heaven if the home of a Holy, soverign God. Sin can not reside or inhabit heaven. You will be found guilty of sin by the righteous King,
 and the penalty for your sin is spiritual death- the worst kind of death, because you won't die once as we know death to be, but your spirit will sort of die over and over forever and ever.

It's a death penalty with no ending of spiritual life without God, without hope, without love, without anything good.

And to pour coals upon the fire, the Lake of Fire is a place reserved for fallen angels. They will be there also paying their penalty for turning against and being disobedient to God. And, I don't think they'll be pleasant neighbors to be around- but the neighbors you'd wish they'd go to hell, but
they are and you're with them. So no hope of ever, ever being rid of them. You're stuck.

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So, how can a preacher volunteer to take a job in which he could possibly be called upon to
kill someone?

His two positions, one in a church pulpit and one carrying a weapon, seem to contradict each
other. One position is leading people to make a decision to be spared spiritual death, and the
other position is a job in which he has potential to kill.

A person's job that requires carrying a firearm is not so that person can look for an opportunity
to shoot someone.  The position is one of protection, mainly to protect lives and property.
 Only in a last resort situation would weapons be utilized.  Any man should want to  protect
 his family and home from harm by any means necessary and fight with what would have a
favorable outcome for his family and himself.  This goes for preachers of the Gospel as well.
A man of God is still a man of God as long as he's saved and not willfully disobeying the Word
of God by his lifestyle.

A man can qualify to work as a doctor, a paramedic, or a grave digger.  He works to help people,
to be productive, and earn a living to provide for his family. No matter the job, he still has a family
to protect and provide for.

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In the Bible, David, was chosen, anointed and was the successor of King Saul. David was a fighter and killed thousands. They made a song about it. God still used David. From the line of David came our Savior.

Samson was given super strength by God, and he judged Isreal for twenty years. Samson killed 
thousands of Philistines who were  idol worshipers.

Men continually wore their swords and carried their spears as they worked rebuilding the wall 
around Jerusalem. (Nehemiah 4:13-23)

There is a time for killing and a time to stop killing. There is a spiritual battle raging, as well as physical battle. The most critical battles are the ones happening in the spirit world.

So, for a man to spread the gospel is one thing, and still quite alright to carry a weapon.
Christian's carry spiritual weapons every day to fight against the spiritual evil of the devil. So for a Christian man to carry a weapon that shoots bullets, isn't contradictory after all. It's all a job, what-
ever that job might be, he does it for the glory of God and provide for his family.

Ecclesiastes 3 is very good for this topic concerning the work God gives a man.
Here in Matthew 7 is what the Bible says about judging another person.

Who knows what might happen tomorrow. One day you might have to call upon someone with to help protect you and your family. If that person coming to your rescue and carrying a weapon also
happens to be a preacher, I don't think you'd mind that at all. He'd be there to save you, your family, and property from harm, and later he can lead you to the Lord, so your spirit can also be saved.
That would put him in a special category of deserving thanks now and later/

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My personal conclusions are : What occupation a man chooses is between him and God.
That person alone must answer to God. God places people in many different positions and occupations in order to fulfill his work. Every Christian has their own race, talents, and ministry
to serve and work for the Kingdom. Not all work is done in the pulpit. And weapons are not evil
if used in a wise and safe manner.

Preachers work to spread the gospel of God from the Word of the Bible with the ultimate goal of leading people to make their personal decision to accept Jesus. Jesus does the saving, securing
spirit to heaven, blotting out all marks of sin against you, not the preacher.

 So, with that said, if you've accepted Jesus as your Savior, having spared you from what you
deserve because of your sins, which are against God, you really don't have a thing to worry about.
If you accidently get shot and die, you're on your way to heaven in an instant.

So, is your spirit in right standing with God? Any moment could be your last. Make your choice
before it's too late. Get Jesus.   If you're ready, read through some of my past entries how to easily
seal the deal and know you're securely in God's family, and are free from spiritual death. Now,
that's something to rejoice in the Lord about.

Your flesh is temporary. Your spirit is eternal.  God is Spirit. God created Man in His likeness, to
live forever and fellowship with. But love does not force anyone against their will. If you choose
to accept God's grace and mercy for life, you are blessed. If you choose not to accept his loving
offering of salvation, then.... you're choosing eternal damnation upon yourself.


Until next time, the path is narrow, but the rewards of following it are endlessly magnificent.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

It started back in Sunday School

I had one very special Sunday school teacher I shall never forget. I can't pinpoint what exactly it was, but I never wanted her Sunday school class to end.  I was happy right where I was. I don't remember her name, or even her face, but I do remember it was in her class I first learned the names of the books of the Bible. She made it fun and interesting to learn them. It would be many, many years later when I would come across another Sunday school class where I again learned so many exciting things in the Bible. Just like a child again, I never wanted that class to end.

Memorizing the names and placement of the books of the Bible has come in handy when I listen to any Bible teacher or preacher. When they reference to a certain scripture in the Bible I could flip to that book and scripture pretty quickly. I've never needed page labels to locate Leviticus or 1Timothy or Micah.

The Bible is God's written Word

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As I grew slowly in knowledge of what the Bible was about as a whole, it all started to come together and make sense. My Bible knowledge came over a period of almost twenty years, so I might be called a slow learner, but I'm eager and ready for the Holy Spirit to reveal to me so much more.

To me, it has been thrilling learning more in depth of the importance about the stories of Noah and the Ark; Abraham and Sarah; Joseph; Moses and the parting of the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments;  Samson and Delilah;  Jonah and the Whale; David; Solomon; Esther; Ruth; John the Baptist; Jesus walking on water,  feeding thousands of people with just 5 loaves of bread and 5 fish; Jesus being born in a manger with animals and shepherds around; Jesus nailed to a cross, are just to name a few. These stories and people tell of how God worked in the lives of people to fulfill his purpose no matter the mistakes they made. And that's true even today.  And the one who made no mistake and whom God was well pleased, whom was and is his Son, Jesus, the Christ.

A lamb

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From memorizing the books of the Bible to learning more of what's written within the books, I've become more enlightened and knowledgeable of the significance of these stories and God's Word for us and His wonderful plan of salvation for man.

 Here are the 18+ major highlights I've learned since being a student of the Lord.

*The Bible is no ordinary book. It has been sustained through the ages and penned by different men over centuries by the tempting of the Holy Spirit.  All the books together tell of a continuation of stories of God's people, leading up to the birth of the long awaited Messiah, (every book in the old testament tells of something about the Messiah), then, the miraculous birth of Jesus, then his life
and ministry, and after Jesus ascended into the heavens, the Bible tells the story of the spread of
 'the church' throughout the world.

*God chose many men to pen the books of the Bible over many centuries. There couldn't possibly
be one person to witness and write all that the Bible tells.  To make a testimony more believable,
the more people to collaborate a story, the more a testimony or story is believable. The scriptures were guided by the Holy Spirit working through the authors who wrote the books. We have a
written account from more than one man, written and recorded over centuries of time of the stories God wants us to know of his people, his faithfulness, his love and his statutes.

Mt. Sinai at sunset

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*The Old Testament gives history of the beginning and how man became full of pride and drifted away from God. God placed the Hebrew tribe of Levi as those to carry out the taking of offerings to be sacrificed that God demanded to purge sin- the shedding of blood for forgiveness. This was of a blemish-less animal for the time being. This was necessary, but only until the Messiah was to come
to free God's people.  God's law was impossible to live up to- for no man or woman could ever be perfect or be sinless. Some interpreted it too strictly and forgot that God did not want that, He
wants man to depend upon Him, not try to be perfect. Man can't be perfect due the sin nature
passed down to all humans from the first man and woman's disobedience. Adam and Eve were deceived and chose to disobey God when they chose to do something that was prideful, selfish,
and in direct disobedience to God's word to them.

How sin entered into the world

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*The Old Testament books tell of prophets and stories of people who were faithful and of those
who were unfaithful, selfish and greedy and did not listen to the prophets. Within each book, the stories and each subsequent generation from Adam leading up Abraham, then Isaac, Jacob and
down through the line of David and so forth. God wanted his people to trust Him, rely upon him
and worship him. God remained faithful, but the Hebrew people wined a lot and forgot the
wondrous things God did and his promises and instead wanted to go back into bondage and even worship man-made images and idols.  Every time the Jewish people cried to God for help, God
saved them. God never failed them. They failed God.
But a few always remained faithful and God blessed them richly.

a replica of the Ark of the Covenant

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*God takes ordinary people who are faithful and willing, and uses them to do extraordinary things.

*Man, unknowledgable to the things of the Spirit, would rather listen to the evil one, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden. But still, the devil couldn't keep 'The One' who was to come and bruise
 his head from being born, or be killed, nor could he get Jesus to succumb to temptation and sin, or from being the one whom God was well-pleased.

*Satan used to be a beautiful angel. But when Lucifer desired to be worshiped and be like god himself, God expelled him from the heavens and now Satan, the evil angel, the adversary, is
destined to the Lake of Fire. He reigns as the master of lies and deception, and makes it his job to deceive those who are not keen to his tricks to get them to turn from God, as he has.  He knows
your weaknesses and uses his powers to make you fall for his lies to lead you away from the truth
of God's Word. He wants to destroy your future and take you from all God has for you because he's
a sore loser. Before Jesus, because of sin, man's destiny was spiritual death . Jesus foiled Satan's
plan because Jesus now holds the keys to life and death, so, Jesus alone is the One whom belongs
all praise, honor and glory. Satan wants that and will try to get it by deception, lying and setting up his own makeshift kingdom to make himself a god. That's what he wants. But there is only one
God, and it is not Satan, aka, Lucifer. Jesus has won spiritual victory for us.

*The New Testament is about the coming of the Lord, the Messiah and his life and death and the church.  John the Baptist was a 'voice' telling of Jesus' forthcoming-he was a messenger who said, 'he's coming, he's coming'. Then when Jesus arrived, John the Baptist said, 'here he is'.

*Jesus was born supernaturally of the Holy Spirit to virgin woman, named Mary. Joseph married Mary and was Jesus' earthly father and he did what was told of him by angels to keep Jesus
protected from those wanting to kill him.

The Son of God, our Messiah was born in a manger

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*Jesus, at an early age, amazed the elders with his wisdom of Godly knowledge. Then he began
his amazing ministry which Paul and some of Jesus's disciples recorded for us to read.

The Middle East

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*The good news of the gospel spread by word of mouth of miraculous healings and miracles
Jesus performed, and later by his disciples, and by Saul, a devout Jew, who used to kill
Christians, but became a believer after his encounter with the Lord, and renamed Paul.

*In spite of all that was foretold of how the coming Messiah was going to come, etc. Jesus met
every prophesy, yet people doubted and they still doubt. These things about Jesus sounds unlikely
to have happened, but there are recorded eye-witnesses other than the authors of the Bible.  The
Jews wanted their Messiah to be a warrior or someone to free them from the Romans.  But the Messiah conquered more than that.  But the Jews and much of the world today have yet to
believe that. The Messiah came to save man from spiritual death. He was the perfect sacrificial
Lamb through which Man might be redeemed back into good graces with God. No more animal sacrifices. Jesus bridged the gap between God and Man separated by sin. Jesus was the Lamb of
 God- being part-human, part-God, the perfect sacrifice God accepted. Any person can accept
God's free gift by faith and be firmly assured their sins would be forgiven.

A Roman coin

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*God, the Word, the Holy Spirit, are all Spirit. God sent a part of himself to us to be our ransom
 so our 'dead spirits' could become 'alive' and have spiritual life forever. That spring of living
waters and everlasting life is found in and though Jesus, and Jesus alone.

*The Bible is full of jewels of wisdom and knowledge. You can read the words and it not make
any sense. That's because it's a holy book and not until your spirit is made 'alive', all you will see
 are printed words on paper. Once you ask Jesus into your heart and accept him as your Lord and Savior, your spirit becomes 'alive' and you will begin to see the Bible come alive and the stories
 begin to have rich meaning and wisdom. Each time you ask God to open your spiritual eyes a bit more, he reveals a bit more in his Word. Only God can do that, and only Jesus can stand in for
you, paying the price owed for your sins.

Flag of Israel

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*Bible stories tell of the grand story of God's unconditional love to us all. God does not force
anyone or make anyone do anything. The choice is yours to make- either you choose to be with
Him or against Him.  So you're either for God, or for the fallen angel called Satan, who is the
god of this world.  God could force you to make your choice, but that's not of his loving character.  God knows to be made to do something your heart isn't into is not loving. God wants you to freely choose to come and love him, not force you to.

*The Bible is for spiritual growth and knowledge and to know the mind of God through the life
of Jesus. No other book can do that. People can reference the Bible, but the Bible is a
one-of-a-kind special living book, a holy book. But to those whose spirit has not been awakened
by the Holy Spirit, mysteries and the wonders of the Bible are scrambled, and the Bible to them is nothing more than some old book on the shelf.


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*I've learned that God is a good God. I've learned faith has to be tested in order to grow. I've
learned that with Jesus, I have nothing to fear, for He is faithful. I've learned that the Holy Spirit
is my counselor and I need to spend time in the Word and be quiet to hear his gentle voice.

*And, lastly, I've learned that God is sovereign, omnipotent, omniscience, and Holy. He is Spirit.
He always has been, and always will be. He is not 'the man' upstairs. And, God loves you and I
so much that he sent his Son to die for us so we can have spiritual life for all times.

I know there so much more the Holy Spirit wants to teach me. I'm grateful to all my Sunday
school teachers, and all with the gift of teaching and are using their gifting to teach about the
many wonders found in the Bible.

I would like to hear from you of what you've taken specially to heart from the Bible, God's Holy Word.

Until next time,
I'm keeping on that straight and narrow path, with the Son as my guide.