Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Just Passing Through

Calvary Chapel Broomfield (Colo)
Founding member of rock bands Buffalo Springfield and Poco
Member of the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame

"Please forgive me with this being so close on the heels of such a sensitive time, but with so many notable, public figures crossing that line into eternity – it always causes our hearts and minds to think about our own mortality, especially if they are of a young age – younger than we are. But the reality of death is a reality of life and each one of us will cross that fateful line one day. 

When a loved one passes our hearts are overwhelmed with grief, even if we really didn’t know the person, but we identified with their music or their movies or their books … and, it’s as if we did know them and when they die it causes us to stop and think about this reality of life. The writer of one of the books in the Bible, James, makes an observation (James 4:14):

“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away”.

I believe we can all agree on one thing - we’re just passing through this life, on our way to eternity and the hereafter. On the way, on this journey we call “life”, we may have thoughts such as “what does the future hold” or “what matter does it make”, and for some, it is “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die” – but then what? Is this life all there is to life? Have those thoughts ever crossed your mind? It’s interesting, but we all have philosophies, religions – a faith we choose to give us comfort in these thoughts; that’s why when one a loved or someone who’s had an impact on our lives passes, we comfort ourselves saying “they’re in a better place”. An atheist will tell you – this is it, “eat, drink and be merry”; while an eastern philosophy will tell you “you can work it out” – as you seek to attain nirvana – obliviousness (Webster: a goal hoped for but apparently unattainable: a dream) which, ultimately is nothingness; and if that’s all there is at the end of the day, then indeed life is meaningless, if in fact its ultimate end is nothingness. 

I wanted to share my thoughts because I am a Christian and I believe there hope beyond this life and I believe the way to heaven is possible, but it does come about through what we call death. The Bible teaches that death is an “exodus” – moving from one place to another – but “life” goes on. It is a door we will all go through. The Bible also teaches when we go through that door it leads one of two ways … into the presence of God (the Creator, Redeemer and Savior) for all eternity (heaven) or to be separated from Him for all eternity (hell) – this is my faith and regardless of what you believe, this is what life boils down to – a choice, a belief, a faith. 

The Christian faith is different from every other major religion and belief system of the world in that those religious system put the weight of getting to heaven on you, your performance, your efforts your works. The dilemma is how does one know when their performance has met the standard and what is that standard? The God of the Bible worked out the way to heaven and fellowship with Him through the work of Jesus Christ – thereby, getting to heaven is not based upon your or my “performance” but upon the “performance” – the work of Jesus Christ. You’ve probably heard it said: “everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die”, but the per-requisite is, if heaven is a reality, we’re going to die and leave this world as we know it. According to my faith, Jesus died that I might live. At the end of the day, it’s as Jesus said:

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
"And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11:25-26)

As I said – faith is a belief system and each one, in making the decision about eternity (heaven and hell) will make a decision about Jesus who said: 

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) 

May those of you who read this receive it with the grace with which I have shared it; God desires fellowship with His creation (He is the Living God) and therefore He made the way to heaven possible in that:

"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

This is my hope; this is my belief; this is my faith."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sheep Crying Out

It seems like the scattering of the sheep is in high gear. Count yourself blessed if you have a church fellowship that keeps out the leaven, preaches the Word faithfully, and worships the LORD in Spirit and in Truth -- screening out songs that are unbiblical or that flaunt the flesh.

Churches today - for the most part (with the exception of the Bible-teaching faithful few) -- are either ritualistic (vestments and bells and smells), spiritually dead (droning dry speaker with disinterested pew warmers), charismaniac (flashing lights; a lot of words but no Word), or inclusive (gay pastor -- all are welcome). It's a sad, sad, sad day for the church.

How is it that the Bride is making herself ready??? 

The Mystery of Iniquity is securely embedded into what is known as churches. It's in control and there's no eviction notice that will change that. Has the time come when the words of Jesus are saying "Come out of her, My people." And when the sheep comply and leave, they have nowhere to go -- so they are scattered.

Scattered sheep are not happy, well-fed creatures. They have no under-shepherds, although they know the voice of the Good Shepherd. So they roam every hill bleating for their Master and mostly apart from one another. They have a hard time distinguishing between wild goats and lost sheep.

Jesus said that those who do not gather with Him, scatters. Yet, many sheep are frightened and don't know whom to trust. In their condition, they tend to shy away from others, knowing there are dangerous wolves out there disguising themselves as sheep. About the only way to find a fellow sheep to snuggle with to stay warm is to find another one that looks exactly like they do. If they are spotted, or black, or some other color or mixture thereof, the sheep are fearful.

It would seem the only remedy for these scattered sheep is for their Good Shepherd to come to the rescue. They are watching and waiting for Him to come and take them to His pasture for safety and refreshing. They are not comfortable in enemy territory.


"And I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached' to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." - Rev 18: 5-6

"Jesus Wept." - John 11:35

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Father's Business

In this new year of 2016, I'm sure you, like me, will be monitoring the news and global events in the expectation of our soon reunion with our loved ones who have gone on ahead and our rescue by our Messiah as He comes for us and takes us to that place He has prepared for us.

We must remember though that God's Word as it was given to us is all we need to understand His plan for us and for the past, present, and future. It is not our vision for ourselves that matters, but how we fit into His plan that He lays out for us in His Word.

We have the Great Commission and that is our Father's business that we need to be about doing. Isn't it interesting that during the time of the outpouring of God's wrath, He does not leave this planet without His witness. The Church is His witness in this dispensation, and in the time of the soon coming Tribulation His witnesses are 144,000 from the tribes of Israel, along with His special two witnesses who will be in Jerusalem, and the angel flying through mid-heaven with the everlasting Gospel. Apparently the Church's assignment will have ended or he wouldn't need the others.

So we must occupy until He comes and look out for silly fables you will hear people spouting -- such as Bible Codes, some proclamation from the counsel of prophets, or other soothsaying devices that go beyond what is written.

As deception increases we must be more and more on the alert, not only for ourselves, but for others. Pay no heed to those who find their revelation outside the Bible, who peep and mutter to impress others with their grand insights.

Now is the time to set aside all those things that hinder us from hearing the words of our God as He unveils His Word to us and quickens it to the eyes of our understanding as He determines by His will -- and not our own.

Looking up!!

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power" - Heb 1:1-3a

"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." - Is 8:19-20