Monday, December 27, 2010

What is Wrong With God's People?

It seems to me that there is a spirit of malaise or a spirit of stupor over God's people. If someone were to walk into church one weekend and offer to give someone $1 million, I expect that there would be an atmosphere of excitement and expectation.

It is far, far more that one million dollars that is offered every week but is ignored or unheard! There is something going on in the spiritual realm.

For several weeks the Holy Spirit has been percolating a message that He has asked me to send you. In no way is this message intended to accuse you or lay any responsibility, other than that brought by the Holy Spirit, upon you.

Here is the message that has been on my mind that may or may not be applicable to you. Please precede your time reading this message with prayer.

Days drew on into months, then into years. What started as a mild seduction pulled God’s people into a complex web. So intertwined, into the culture of Ezekiel, was the web of sin that God would no longer tolerate the duplicity. See the people never outright rejected the God of Israel they simply broadened their prospects. The problem was not a common problem therefore the solution would not be the common solution.

Chapter 9 of Ezekiel:

Then He cried our in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand”. And behold, six men cam from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Then the glory of the God of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been, to the threshold or the temple. And He called the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case.

And the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in their midst.” But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity, and do not spare, utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark…”

Take a few moments some time to see the results of this process. It is shocking! Apparently the only one that qualified for the mark was Ezekiel himself.

Society had regressed to the point that there was only one individual who cared about the state of the sin around him.

The journey continued so that Ezekiel could see the underlying cause, indication or effect of the degradation.

Chapter 3:16-21

Now it came about at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman over the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you have warned the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you shall have delivered yourself. Again, when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I place an obstacle before him, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand.”

God had done His part in establishing “watchmen” over the house. The watchmen drifted away:

Ezekiel 8:7-12

Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. And He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.”

So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. And standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel…each man with a censer in his hand, and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images?’”

It didn’t happened suddenly. Each of those in positions of influence and leadership had the boldest ideals but, over time, the ideals were reduced to the very lowest of common denominators. Not in the open light of day, but in the dark recesses of their lives, they built their idols.

What idols were so tempting to them?

Perhaps they were not much different that our own:

A job or career?

A car or house?

A position?

Your 401-k?

Your family?

Your personal goals?

Your heath or fitness?

The list goes on and on.

Television, movies, novels, recreation in place of the bible and prayer

Pornography, alcohol, escapes of any kind….

What, if anything, have you carved on your walls?

God invites you back.

Consecrate yourself to the Living God!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Freedom That Brings Righteousness

For far too many years now Christians have been buying into lies. Not just lies but damned lies. "Got to have a quite time every day", "must be baptized", "got to quit (select one: eating so much, watching so much TV, smoking, drinking, pornography, getting angry)" and on and on...

The gospel, which defined is "good news" is pure and undefiled good news. Many church leaders have gotten off course and sold us a lie. Listen to the Word of God!

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.

But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,

just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Romans 5:4-8

The cart before the horse teaching of trying to be "good enough" to be a "good Christian" has dampened that lives and the witness of Christians for too many years now!

Accept, if you have accepted Jesus as your personal savior, that you are seen as holy by our God! If you will surrender your "works" and pick up His gift, your life will respond with overwhelming joy. Once the joy moves in, the desires for the aberrant things that were so very attractive to us disappear.

The more we try to defeat the wrong desires the more they will create deeper longing for those desires. We can not slay the evil that is within us it is only the indwelling Holy Spirit that can override our desires. We must quit quenching the Holy Spirit's fruitfulness in our lives by our "works" mentality. Your commitment to be more holy has gotten you what?

Surrender to grace! There is no other way!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jesus Paid It ALL!!!!!

Jesus paid it all! Why do we think that we have to "be better", "quit something", "start doing something" to be acceptable to our God?

The writer of Hebrews deals with this issue: Hebrews 10

Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

We have confidence because He is faithful! No where does scripture indicate that the redeamed need to clean-up their lives or begin to be more faithful do be more acceptable. As a matter of fact scripture indicates quite the opposite. God sees our self earned righteousness as nothing more that filthy, stinky rags.

Hebrews drives this point painfuly home with these comments:

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

The bottom line is this. If the blood of Jesus is not enough, there is no hope for you! Jesus paid it all! God sees our efforts to add to what Jesus did as an afront. It is simply another example of Adam's original sin of attempting to place himself in God's position! You don't want to go there!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

He Became; We Might Be!

What did Jesus do for you? If you are like most Christians you would say something along the lines of, "He died on the cross for my sins". There is nothing wrong with that answer although it is only a partial answer.

It is because Christians have settled for the partial answer that the visible and the verbal witness of the Church cowers in the corner of our society rather than boldly attacking the gates of hell around us.

So what is the complete answer?

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2Corinthians 5:21

Read that scripture one more time!

Do get it? I mean, do you really, really get it?

Jesus not only died on the cross, He actually became "sin" so that "sin" would die on that cross and be judged and sentenced to hell! The penalty for my sin, yesterday's, today's and all of my tomorrows sins, have already been judged and sentenced! It is a done deal!

As absolutely unbelievable as that is the second part is beyond grasp. Christians are now the "righteousness of God!" Just as my sin was planted on Jesus, His righteousness was planted on me!

on't miss this and don't pass it off too quickly. Jesus did not actually become a sinner when He became and I didn't actually become sinless when I became righteous!

When God sees a Christian He first sees the blood of Jesus covering His life and He need look no further. The blood of Jesus equals righteousness!

So why do we live lives of desperation? We are loaded down by circumstances because we fail to realize our position in Jesus! Read the Book of Acts to see what lives are lived by those who really "get it"!

Faith! Not a wistful hope but a "conviction of things not seen" Hebrew 11:1 Take a stand on God's truth! Accept your righteousness and begin to live like it!