Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Schiffs Go To Austrailia... well they are working towards it at least...

Listen up folks! Please check this site out. If you've been looking for a ministry to support financially as a part of your personal sacrificial giving then this is it. Please give the site a look and prayerfully consider what you can do to help. Kyle & his family are good friends of mine and Kyle is a truly God-gifted preacher of the... Gospel in a day and age when that is desperately needed. His heart is all about glorifying God through the proclamation of His Word and to see folks come to KNOW Christ in the power of His resurrection. Please please consider how you can help. All needed info is available on the website.

Grace and Peace.
bro jason

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cross-Like T-Shirt Design at Penn State University Sparks Controversy

So the latest in anti-Christian whiny-ness is a group of 6 people who are refusing to by an athletic t-shirt because to them it appears to bear the image of the cross on the front.

You can read the hilarious story here...,2933,569665,00.html

Personally when I saw the shirt on the thumbnail before reading the story I didn't think... oh hey there's a cross.... to me it just looked like a normal athletic design... regardless... to all of those whole whopping 6 people who complained I have but two things to say...

A.) stop using American currency.... stop using credit cards... checks... all forms of American currency since it proudly states 'In God We Trust'. If you are truly offended then stop using it... or do your objections have escape clauses to serve your interests...hmmm I wonder

b.) Get a life, its just a shirt...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How many races of people are there? Only One

This one from a story on FoxNews...

The link is below, but the synopsis is that a Justice of the peace in Louisiana refused to marry a heterosexual couple of the basis that the two were of different nationalities (or as he called them races) and in his opinion interacial marriages weren't successful...

I know, pull your jaw off the floor... I was as stunned and offended as the rest of you...,2933,567120,00.html

Perhaps someone should explain to Justice Bardwell that we all come from the same ancestors therefore there is only one race of people... the human race. Discrimination in any form is an offense against those people and God. Regardless of whatever justification man drums up to clear it.

See Genesis 2 for details on our oldest grandparents...

Discussion Question...

This is just a question for discussion... if certain words are dirty words because society sees them that way... what happens if one day a word like the f-word were socially acceptable.... could Christians use that word?

I know what I think but I will wait to post my thoughts until some discussion has taken place...

This is just meant as a friendly discussion/ debate of opposing views so please try and be as loving in your comments as possible and it would be best even if you could back up your viewpoint with Scripture... however, all comments are welcome.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Q&A: A question about the Gospel

The Question:

Hi sir, I have a quesiton. I am a pretty new believer, close to two years now, All glory to God for it was His work in me and His great love. I have found a church here where i live; i just recently started attending (about 3-4 weeks). They are a baptist church, however, they preach salvation as accepting Jesus into their heart via the "sinner's prayer". My question is, will this theology if you can call it theology mess up the true gospel? In my opinion this belief makes the gospel very puny and weak, and makes the rest of our relationship with God focused on ourself. What do you think? and If i am to be concerned, how should i handle this situation? Should i do anything since i haven't been there that long? To me its frustrating because every church i can go to around here holds that type of belief.

It appears that they have the right thinking in that we are sinners and are in need of God's grace, but idk what to think or if i should even bring it up and maybe keep searching for a new church. It took me a long time to get into this one.

Thank you sir for any imput in this.

My Answer:

Well you are dead on correct that it distorts the Gospel. It makes it look like Jesus somehow needs our acceptance in the saving of our soul. He's God... He doesn't need our acceptance. We need His. A great illustration would be the Prodigal Son account. That Son came home and did not need to accept his father. The other way around. He came home (repented) and needed forgiveness from the Father. He came home to trust that his father's household and rules and such was truth and everything else false.

How should you handle it? Well the sad thing is that you WILL find this in many churches these days. But rewind 50 years ago and you won't find it anywhere. I think that the Biblical prescription is to go to one another and confront the issue in a loving manner. (Matthew 18)

I think you need to prayerfully lay out your case and do the leg work to find Scripture backing your position and then take it privately to the pastor. If he is a true man of God who truly wants to shepherd his flock towards Christ and not just a man concerned about getting "decisions" for Jesus then he will at the least listen to what you have to say.

A few pointers to remember in this. Please be sure you use Bible verses and approach him humbly. He is your pastor and an elder so you want to do as Paul admonished Timothy and be respectful. At the same time, you have scripture on your side and you have the authority of the Word of God to stand on and need not feel any reason to back down or give in to a faulty way of thinking. Consider these verses.

Galatians 2: 20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 6: 14, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

the sinner's prayer puts the focus back on man, not God's amazing kindness in Salvation. It steals a portion of His glory.

Also, look at how 'evangelism' was done in the Bible. One of my favorites is Jesus and the rich young ruler. When that man asked about eternal life did Jesus say... 'Well just pray and receive me into your heart and if you really mean it I mean REALLY mean it... you'll be saved.'

NO, He took Him to the Law and brought the knowledge of sin to the man. the man went away sad because He didn't want to forsake his wealth for the sake of Christ. He wanted eternal life with no change in his mortal life.

Can someone be saved by praying the sinner's prayer? Sure they can, God can save anyone anytime in spite of our pathetic attempts at relaying the message. But when you play on the heart strings and dumb it down with a 'repeat these magic words and you're in' type of thing you severely increase the possibility of a false conversion.

No where in scripture will you find the sinner's prayer. Someone who is truly feeling conviction of their sin by the Holy Spirit will not have to be led through a prayer of repentance. Once they know of their sin, its consequences, and what is required to be saved. They will figure it out pretty quick.

A great friend of mine will tell in his testimony how his prayer for salvation when he came to that point was simply 'God save me.'

The question of saved or unsaved isn't one of whether we have prayed a prayer at some time in our life... it is a matter of whether or not we are still living for Christ from that point. Are we praying with David in Psalm 51 that God tear out any sin and create in us a new heart! Are we growing to hate the sin we once loved.

Truly a pastor or teacher ought not to push the sinner's prayer but to explain the Gospel and then explain the the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13 that we need to EXAMINE ourselves to see that we're in the faith.

No where in Scripture am I given Pope-ish authority to lead someone in a prayer and then declare them forgiven. That's God's role... not mine...

Here's a link to a great article by A.W. Tozer. Give it a look if you have time.

After speaking with your pastor and praying for him, he may or may not change. God has to convict him of his error before he'll change. So don't leave discouraged if he maintains his position. Isaiah 55 says that the Word of God will not return void where it is sent out without first accomplishing that which God intends. You will have defended the faith (Jude 3) and that's all you can do. The results are up to the Lord.

What should you do if he doesn't change? I can't tell you that you should or shouldn't leave. I can tell you we are called to be a part of a God-fearing, Bible believing church. We are NOT called to go in and make a stinky church better. You have to determine what your church is and whether or not it is a place you can serve and worship God and stand behind the doctrine taught from the pulpit and the classrooms... If you can't, then you should leave because it will only cause you to be bitter and resentful and ultimately stumble.

Good on you though man for seeing the serious issue with all of this. I hope this was of some help.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Q&A - Can a Christian lie and still be saved?

Periodically I will get an email from someone asking Bible questions or in this case, someone has told this friend that they aren't a Christian because they told a lie... here was the question and my answer... just thought I'd post it in case anyone else has the same question or knows a similar situation. All names have been kept private for the sake of the one who wrote me. If you are familiar with the situation please don't make a personal comment about the situation or guesses as to who it is. Thanks!

If you have a question or anything, feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer it or point you to a trusted and sound resource that can help you find the Biblical answer.

The Question:

hey! i have a friend but somebody is telling her that she's not a christian b.c. christians don't lie and the devil doesn't get to christians and all of this stuff. I wanted to give her some bilble you know of any good ones?

The Answer:

Well this can be a tricky question... the question is really two fold... do Christians lie? yes, we are saved... not perfect... we can't be perfect and that's why we needed a Savior...

Should a Christian lie? no, Romans 6:1 says that we shouldn't use the Grace of God as a license to go on sinning. basically... just because we have been saved doesn't mean we should abuse that salvation by continuing to sin... we should live moral and ethical lives because we are eternally thankful for the mercy poured out to us via the cross.

Now, if a person who calls themselves a Christian is lying does that mean they are not saved? Well first we need to be very careful that we don't get into the business of pointing out the saved and unsaved among Christians. Jesus said wheat (Christians) and tares (non-Christians) will grow up together and that we shouldn't try to tear out the tares because we won't always be able to distinguish them... meaning, within those who are Christians and they believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God we shouldn't engage in saying "you're in and you're out" because we truly don't know, only God does...

You can lie and be saved, you can steal and be saved still... the question is 1.) how does that person react to themselves having told a lie? Are they ok with it? if they are ok with lying then I would lean towards the possibility that they aren't saved because when God saves He changes the heart and we begin hating the sin we once loved... we don't go on living lives of intentional lies (or any other sin) because it demonstrates that no change has taken place. As Christians we want to live a life of repentance that constantly seeks out how we can better Glorify the Lord with our lives and express our unyielding thanks to Him for saving us from our sinful depravity.

2.) is lying a pattern? are they remorseful? when they lie, are they seeking forgiveness? not just 'God forgive me for this lie' to clear their conscience about it but praying the way David did in Psalm 51 where he pleaded with God to give him a new heart and a contrite spirit. that he hated sin and loved only God and wanted God to cleanse him of sinful things in his heart that he might live a life pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

as for whether or not they are saved... The Bible is very clear that someone who is saved does not seek to live in intentional lifestyles of sinful behavior... they don't try to rationalize their sin to keep it in their life, a born again Christian tries to identify it and put it to death by the power of the Holy Spirit living in them. the bible says in 2 Corinthians 13 that we are to examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith... I would encourage your friend to go and read through that and see how she measures up... just tell her to get alone and for her to be honest with herself and most importantly honest with God... tell her to read Matthew 6:33 - does her life line up with that? can she say that is a true statement for her life? if no, then maybe she isn't saved... if yes, then she needs to examine her life and make sure that she IS living for the Glory of God alone (Soli deo Gloria)... and nothing else... does her life reflect a life of a person who has seen the seriousness of sin and has repented of it (turned from it) and trusted in the Savior? lives for the Savior? loves the Savior? Wants to be good not because of self-righteousness but to better Glorify God?

try that...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Contend for the Faith! Jude 1-3

For all those feeling beaten down by the struggles, this one is for you.

Contend for the Faith
Jude 1-3

Jude 1-3 – 1 (A)Jude, a (B)bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To (C)those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and (D)kept for Jesus Christ: 2 (E)May mercy and peace and love (F)be multiplied to you. 3 (G)Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our (H)common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you (I)contend earnestly for (J)the faith which was once for all (K)handed down to (L)the saints.

1 (A)Jude, a (B)bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To (C)those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and (D)kept for Jesus Christ: The very first verse of Jude’s letter gives us such comfort and should bring such peace to the heart and soul of the believer. He uses passive verbs … called, beloved, and kept. We are going to look at each one individually tonight with the purposes of hopefully and prayerfully understanding why it is that Jude would use such hope inspiring language for the reader. I will tell you up front it is not just so you will leave this place feeling good about yourself but it IS to get you feeling GOOD!
The first one, “to those who are called”. This is a reference to the irresistible call to salvation.

1 Corinthians 1:23-24 – 23 but we preach [a](A)Christ crucified, (B)to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles (C)foolishness, 24 but to those who are (D)the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ (E)the power of God and (F)the wisdom of God.
When God convicts a person and calls them out of the darkness to repentance they do it. No questions about it. Remember that we are not saved because we made a decision but because God made the decision to call us to salvation and sanctify us for HIS purposes. Out of His great grace and mercy even though there is nothing good within us, He still loved us.
Romans 5:6 – 6 For while we were still (A)helpless, (B)at the right time (C)Christ died for the ungodly. We were helpless and He chose to save us. Unregenerate sinners are spiritually dead and incapable of doing anything to help themselves out of it.
God’s love for His creation is unwavering because it is not based on how lovable we are, but on the consistency of His own character. God’s supreme act of love came when we were still undesirable, sinful, bad, wretches. One of my all-time favorite songs is and will always be Amazing Grace. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. The early church understood their guilt before a Holy God and it drove them to the foot of the cross in repentance and faith!
Then Jude calls the Christian, “beloved in God the Father”. Beloved IN God the Father. It is unconditional love from God to the believer in Christ and because of that love we are sanctified, that is we are set apart, from sin by the transformation that occurs in us at conversion.
1 John 3:1 - 1 See (A)how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called (B)children of God; and such we are For this reason the world does not know us, because (C)it did not know Him. The believer’s hope is strengthened by the fact that God’s love initiated salvation. On that salvation we are united with the Holy Spirit. But on Christ’s return we will be united with the Heavenly Father who loves us with the love depicted in John 3:16. But John says that the world didn’t know Jesus and they won’t know us. Meaning they rejected Him, they rejected truth, and they will also reject us as a result.
Throughout John’s gospels he expresses just, just total astonishment at God’s amazing love for believers in making them His children.
Lastly, in this introduction, Jude says that we are “kept for Jesus Christ”. The same God whose grace was sufficient to save you is the same all-powerful God who has you in the palm of His hand and will see you all the way through to glory in Heaven.
Romans 8:29-31 – 29 For those whom He (A)foreknew, He also (B)predestined to become (C)conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the (D)firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He (E)predestined, He also (F)called; and these whom He called, He also (G)justified; and these whom He justified, He also (H)glorified. 31 (I)What then shall we say to these things? (J)If God is for us, who is against us?
Ok, so Jude gives this introduction and uses language that is clearly intended to inspire hope and assurance to the believer. Why? For what purposes? Remember I told you it isn’t so we’d leave feeling good about ourselves. We should leave feeling a sense of awe towards God, but not good towards ourselves.
But why take time to write things to stir our hope and affection to God? Why encourage believers? I think we find that answer in verse 3.
3 (G)Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our (H)common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you (I)contend earnestly for (J)the faith which was once for all (K)handed down to (L)the saints.
Contend for the faith! Contend… The Greek word there is epagonizomai. It means to agonize over, or contend as a combatant. The word earnestly is added to impress upon the reader the intensive force that must be used by Christians in their fight for the truth. This word contend in the Greek is where we get the idea of contending in a boxing match. Get this idea of a boxing coach or trainer and he has his boxer in the corner and he’s giving him some water and he’s refreshing him and getting him ready to go back out and fight. Charging him, reminding him of his training and ability and such. Get that idea here. Judge is encouraging with just 3 simple phrases that would draw out hope and joy in these believers to whom he is writing.
If we are true believers then we will truly be willing to fight for the truth… contend for it… The true desires and loves of your heart are easily read by everyone around you. Something you are truly passionate about you don’t just give half your effort to. You go all out. You only give half effort to something you aren’t that passionate about… something you don’t care much for.
Can’t we say that is a true statement? We can make that statement about a sports team and no gets offended. However, suggest that someone doesn’t truly exhibit the love God calls them to have or the devotion to Him that they should have and they get all indignant. My mom used to say that type of reaction is known as the guilty dog hollering first. Meaning when you make a statement like that and someone gets mad that you are hitting too close to home with that person.
How many of us concern ourselves daily with witnessing and sharing our faith? Pleading those we know who aren’t Christians to flee from the wrath of God that is to come… Yet there was obviously a need for Jude to write the admonition to contend earnestly.
If sharing our faith and speaking the truth weren’t a requirement of our God then why does it seem that the audience of this letter are engaged in such a battle for the truth? Never lose sight folks of the Biblical mandate of the church to contend for the faith. The battle we are in is for the salvation of lost sinners.
Matthew 28:18-20 – 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "(A)All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "(B)Go therefore and (C)make disciples of (D)all the nations, (E)baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, (F)I am with you always, even to (G)the end of the age."
We are told to GO. In today’s world you don’t even have to GO that far. It wasn’t that long ago that I was talking to a young lady at the Allsup’s in Graham and after visiting for just a short time she admitted that she had no idea what Jesus had done for her on the cross. She had heard His name before, but never knew that He died on the cross so that if she repented she could be set free from the penalty of sin. I was able to share with her and give her a Bible. A seed was planted there and hopefully… God willing… she will repent and trust the Savior.
We are called to GO and make disciples. Not roll over and be tolerant of pagan views. We cannot be silent about our God. And not to get saved and then hide our light under a basket…
The truth of God is a truth worth fighting for. Jude lived in a time when Christianity was under severe political attack from Rome and bad theology was creeping into the church. I think we can look at the world at large and see the same thing coming for Christians today.
Jude is encouraging them to continue fighting for the truth because He is a worthy cause to fight for. Mark it down in your mind: there is truth worth contending for. And that truth is found in Jesus Christ and Him alone.

God uses are men and women who swim against the tide. They hold strong convictions with great courage and refuse to compromise in the face of incredible opposition. David refused to tremble before Goliath; he saw him as an insult to God. While all Israel cowered in fear, David stood alone before the enemy. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all courageously refused the easy path of compromise. It surely would have cost them their lives if God had not sovereignly intervened. Yet they never wavered.

In Acts 26, while was on trial before King Agrippa, Paul didn’t plead for his own freedom. Instead he witnessed to King Agrippa in hopes that the King might be saved. John the Baptist stood before Herod and let him know that his adulterous relationship was not right and he would not back down. It cost him his life.

2 Samuel 22:3-4 - 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men you save me. 4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

There is a single truth in this world. It is Jesus. And there is a single passion to live for. It is Jesus. Why? Because He alone is worthy.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I thought Lucy married Ricky!

Recently this news clip ran on Fox News. Now let us begin by first acknowledging that pretty much everyone with any common sense agrees that Fox News is NOT the most credible news source to begin with... but let's look beyond that and get to the facts...

First of all he says that from this supposed missing link that they "know" this creature could walk on two legs on ground and four in the trees. However, what is NOT offered up is how they know this.

He bases his research on the foundation of a 1974 discovery in the same region known as "Lucy". This was also supposedly a missing link between man and ape. Although here is a great article from the folks over at Answers in Genesis as to the real history of the Lucy "link"

So his foundation is built upon a fossil found in 1974 that was so fragmented that much of what they pieced together was pure scientist imagination. Sounds solid to me...

Now why is it when the find an ape that was built differently that they assume it is a missing link... why not look at the real facts that this is simply a variation of the many wondrous creatures God made? hmmm intriguing...

Furthermore, this so called expert states that there are only two main differences between man and all other animals... one is that we walk on two legs and the other was that we have large brains...

While many scientists have toted the fact there is a 98% similarity between human and chimpanzee DNA they fail to mention that similarity is only in the single strand DNA and that we have 23, chimps have 24 single strands. So we evolved from chimps but lost a single strand strain of DNA? hmmm I thought evolution made us better, added more information, and only improved on what was there... so how did we lose something? haha, but I digress...

What they neglect to tell you when making that oh so stunning 98% comparison is that if you looked at all our DNA as a whole between the two species you'd find that we actually only have a 1.23% similarity... my how the number goes down... but TIME never runs that on the cover!

What does that tell me? It tells me that we have a common designer... Look at the vastness of God's creation... c'mon... you talk about Christians living a life of blind faith... my faith isn't blind, The Bible CLEARLY reveals the God in whom I trust. It is you my atheist evolutionist & theistic evolutionist friends. You're life is full of faith in a false assumption built on 100's of years of lies, imagination, and presuppositions!

Christians need not be alarmed at this latest find, it doesn't demonstrate a transitional fossil between man and ape but just another species of ape like creature that is no longer in existence...

In the end this so called expert really makes only one statement that is true... and that is that just because we have a bigger brain doesn't mean we are going to have better ideas... boy isn't that shown to be true from the so called "wise" of this world!

Romans 1:22-23 - 22A)">Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and B)">(B)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and a]">[a]crawling creatures.