Our Eternal Sabbath is Alive!

It was a long three days, but some time between sundown on the old Sabbath and sunrise, the Lord Jesus Christ rose victorious over death, hell, and the grave! He is now our Eternal Sabbath for all who place their faith in Him alone. Maranatha!

Preparing for Jesus’ Coming

I wonder what it was like to live before Jesus was born. The prophets had foretold His birth and encouraged people to be ready, but I wonder how many took the prophecy seriously. Maybe it seemed like one of those tales they had heard their whole lives so, even if it would become true some day, it most likely wouldn’t be in their lifetime.

 

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I expect that people then were very much like they are today. The difference is that, today, we know He came. He lived, He died, He rose. But He also promised to come again! Are we watching, making sure that we are ready for His return? Or we are going through life with a vague recollection that He said He would return, but it probably won’t be for a long time yet?

Although that may be true, we need to live as if He were coming today. So many missed His first coming. I do not want to be among those who are not ready for Jesus’ second coming.

As you celebrate this week, think about how much we truly have to celebrate. God so loved you that He gave His Son, and one day, we will get to see Him face to face. Lord, hasten that day!

Peace That Passes All Understanding

As we grow older, life does not get any easier. Not only do we find ourselves concerned about the regular cares of the world, but now we have children and grandchildren that must be taken into account. In the midst of a world that is rocked with scandal, pain, wars, and turmoil, it is so easy to find ourselves distracted and overwhelmed by the world. It seems that our little lives can also be torn apart with strife in our families. These times simply show that we are fallen creatures of clay who have been saved by grace.

Our desires should not be for this world but to realize we are just passing through. Soon enough will come a day where like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, we will dip our feet in the waters of death as we prepare to go to the other side where we will be forever with our Lord and those saints who have gone before. What a glorious day that will be.

Although the pain in our hearts is very real, there are many who have suffered much more than most of us will ever experience. Such a person was Horatio Spafford, who wrote the words to a well-loved hymn called, “It is Well With My Soul.” This man suffered greatly with the loss of four children at once through the sinking of a ship that was enroute across the Atlantic Ocean. This beautiful hymn was written by Spafford as he journeyed to meet his wife in Europe on the next ship. Crossing over the spot where the ship entombing his daughters was, Spafford, with the strength of the Lord, wrote with full assurance in the God of his salvation that “It was well with his soul.”

No matter what struggles or pain you and I may endure today, there will always be a peace that passes all understanding. Only those who rejoice in Jesus Christ and know Him as personal Savior can reiterate with Paul that there is nothing in life or death that can separate us from the love of God.

Family and friends may forsake us and foes may assail us, but His love will endure forever. I am thankful that today I can ask with the Psalmist in 116:15, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD.”

For those who remain friends, you are a blessing and an encouragement. May you be encouraged with the words of these two hymns today.

 

Victory Is Ahead

Most of those who know me will be surprised to know that I have dealt with periods of depression the last five years or so like I’ve never felt before. It is a struggle to get out of bed some days and yet I have a work to do which requires me to keep fighting.

The Christian life is not always easy. I’ve seen people who “try Jesus” walk away, never to return. The writer of Hebrews explains why when he says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt” (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Brothers and Sisters, if you name the name of Christ, quitting is not an option. Many quit every day. Hopelessness takes over until some end up taking their own lives. Where is the victory that comes to those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior?

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I think many try Jesus like they try on clothes. If He doesn’t fit their lifestyle, He gets put on the shelf until a crisis occurs. Then He gets blamed for not caring when He doesn’t answer. God does care, but He is not obligated to answer the prayers of those who just want to use Him. James 5:16 says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) avails much.” Are you righteous, or is there a hidden sin that you’re hoping God will overlook and answer your prayer anyway? Maybe that sin is simply living for self but wanting God on the side. You cannot serve two masters.

I’ve derailed slightly, as I want this to be encouraging to those who are discouraged but, before you can be encouraged, you need to examine your heart as to whether or not you are truly in the faith. Is there any area of your life that you have not surrendered to God? If not, then I want to encourage you to keep pressing on and don’t give up. Your answer will come. If life were too easy, we would not need God. Our depression, discouragement, etc. reminds us of what life is like without Him: hopeless. Don’t give in to those feelings. Praise Him when you don’t feel like it. Intercede for others. Get your mind off of yourself and your problems. Learn to be content wherever God has you. Don’t envy others. God’s plan for you is good and not evil, and He will complete His good work in you if you are diligent to fight the good fight. Be encouraged today, dear friends. There is victory ahead!

All Christians are Christians?

This may seem like a strange title, but after my comments on an article that I read this week on FoxNews, I think you will see the dilemma I am in.

However, before I continue with my comments on the article, I want to say that there are many who will take umbrage and be offended at what I will say here today. You see, we have become a nation of wishy-washy, whatever-floats-your-boat, don’t-offend-anybody, and don’t-judge-me church goers. Sadly, the transition was so gradual that most people never even noticed the shift.

There was a time that you would walk through an airport and knew exactly who the followers of Sun Myung Moon (also known as Moonies or members of the Unification Church) were and what they were trying to peddle. For those who have not looked recently, they are still around (normally older couples though) but they no longer wear their hair long in a braid. They do not have a shaved head, nor do they wear saffron-colored robes. Today, they are very much a modern organization that is still looking to attract followers to its mantra of global peace, defense of religious organizations, and extravagant marriage ceremonies around the world.

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Absolving Sins – Blasphemy

What a tragedy that more than 1 billion of the world’s population follow the accursed traditions of a man who is just as totally depraved as his followers.

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The link to the article Pope Says Can Absolve Sins from Fox News indicates that this is a special year of Jubilee, and in his own power has granted ALL priests the ability to “absolve faithful of the sin of abortion.” This has been perfectly timed by the Vatican with all the world’s attention being focused on the horrors of what has taken place with Planned Parenthood. History speaks for itself of the debauchery of the Catholic system that has produced many illegitimate babies and many abortions induced in order to cover up the wickedness and vulgarity of her priests.

How convenient that the declaration from the Vatican does not speak of just those women who have had an abortion! It covers the faithful of the sin of abortion. This means if you are a faithful Catholic priest, you can absolve yourself of demanding a woman get an abortion to protect what you have done in the dark. If you are a faithful Catholic doctor who murders infants, then this coming Jubilee year, you can be absolved of ALL your wicked murders. If you are a faithful Catholic man who has encouraged his wife, lover, or girlfriend to get a baby aborted, then you also can sleep easier tonight knowing your guilt will be gone as soon as you do your penance and offer your coins to the blood-bathed coffers of the Vatican.

The word absolve means set or declare (someone) free from blame, guilt, or responsibility. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word to mean, “to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt.”

This is heresy of the highest order. It is blasphemy to think that a sinful man can remove the guilt of sin and the stain that envelops the heart of every man, woman, and child, and that separates them from the holiness of God. Neither the pope, nor any of his cardinals, bishops, or priests have the ability to free anybody from any guilt or responsibility for their sins. This declaration, while only for those faithfully following the pope are included, means the pope has again tried to take away from God what rightfully belongs to God alone.

My friend, if you are reading this and you are a Roman Catholic follower, please know that we share with you in love that believing a mere mortal can free you from the consequences of your sin or your guilt will only damn your soul to an eternal torment in the lake of fire when you die.

Not one pope since the first pope, Constantine, died for your sins. Not one pope can free you from the wrath of God that is to come. Not one pope can absolve you of any sin, whether it is the sin of adultery, abortion, cheating, lies, homosexuality, lesbianism, hatred, murder, or even taking the name of the Lord in vain.

There is only one who can forgive sins and even the religious leaders of Jesus’ day knew this. Mark 2:7 and Luke 5:21 note that the scribes and Pharisees both asked aloud, “Who is this that is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

We, who know the Lord Jesus Christ, know that Jesus Christ is God and thus had the ability, the right, and the privilege of being able to forgive the sins of any and all who come to Him by grace through faith alone. Sadly, many who have hidden their guilt and sin of murdering the infant in their womb will go to a priest, seek to do some penance, say a few prayers in vainless repetition, and walk away with their conscience being seared a little more into thinking they have been made right with God.