Men receive a chemical high from sexual images because adrenaline is released and locks into memory whatever stimulus is present at the time of the emotional excitement. This is visual sex and it is highly addictive! Men are addicted after the first lingered look and feel like they cannot stop looking due to this chemical addiction!

As a Sexual Addiction Counselor, I can not tell you how many times I have heard men say, ‘I just can’t help myself’. Or my favorite excuse, ‘since I cannot stop myself I am just going to give in and then repent’. Because of all the visual cues left behind in a man’s head, sexual addiction is harder to conqueror than a drug addiction. I can choose sobriety but victory over images burned into my brain what do I do? Many a Christian man will tell you he must not be forgiven because of the pictures in his mind. Or they think it is demonic because in the middle of prayer or bible reading the images just keep coming.

Just like the battle to tame the tongue so is the battle for your mind. Both are battle fields and both must be fought to be won. And I can tell you with 100% certainty the battle can be won.

I have used the example of sexual sin because so many men suffer (many in silence) with this malady; however, this teaching applies to all sin. The Bible clearly lays out the process that Satan uses to get us to choose to sin (James 1:14,15).

In order for Satan to tempt us, there must be a desire in our heart for what is being offered or there would be no temptation. This can be a desire for bad things or good things obtained the wrong way. For example, what is the number one good thing a husband desires from his wife? Physical intimacy or sex. (Contrast this with the number one good thing a wife desires from her husband – emotional intimacy or affection. We both want intimacy – a good thing between marriage partners – just expressed differently!).

Jesus had no desire for bad things (unfortunately we have to deal with this area due to our fallen nature) but was tempted with obtaining good things the wrong way. Remember, Jesus was offered the whole world (a good thing) if only He would obtain it by submitting to Satan (the wrong way) rather than buying back man via the cross (the right way) (Luke 4:3-12).

Satan hit Jesus with the same basic temptation areas, after He came out of the wilderness fast, that he hits us all with today (1 John 2:16):

The desire of the flesh (turn stone into bread for your hungry flesh) (Luke 4:3,4)

The desire of the eyes (bow down and you can have all the world that you see) (Luke 4:9-12)

The desire to have something or someone to boast about in pride (jump off the temple and you can have the adoration of all those that see you rescued by the angels of God) (Luke 4:5-8)

Furthermore, Adam and Eve were tempted with being able to know good and evil rather than discern the difference between good and evil in hopes of being like God (a good thing) but to obtain it before they were mature enough for this knowledge by experiencing evil first hand via disobeying God (wrong way) (Genesis 3:1-6). The right way would have been learning to discern the difference between good and evil as they matured by exercising their senses in life’s journey with God including NOT disobeying God and NOT experiencing evil first hand (the right way) (Hebrews 5:14).

So, the temptation comes for something we desire but offered the wrong way (so far no sin), we yield to the thought and meditate on it until it becomes a desire of our hearts (now it is non-physical sin), then we do it (we have physically sinned). Again, the temptation is not a sin so do not believe the Devil when he tries to convince you to go ahead and do something that you only thought about. Likely, he fired that thought into your mind, too (Ephesians 6:16.2 Corinthians 10:4,5). Remember, Jesus was tempted in all ways but was still sin-free! (Hebrews 4:15) It is when we meditate on the thought that it goes from a passing thought in our head to a thought in our spiritual heart (i.e., we learn it by heart) and then an intent of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Once an intent of the heart we will most likely commit the sin under the right circumstances. For example, you have been thinking about the attractive woman at work (1) until you have started thinking about what it would be like with her physically until it becomes something you would do under the right circumstances (i.e., it is now an intent of the heart). Then through some strange set of events (i.e., a satanic trap), you find yourself with this person all alone…

How can a man of God fall into the trap of adultery? One wrong baby step at a time! The following breaks down the steps that many take leading to marital unfaithfulness or adultery. Note that each one is simply a “baby step” that any of us could take without seeing where it could ultimately lead.

Here’s a list from a book by Keith Drury

Sharing Common Interests.

Mentally comparing with my mate.

Meeting emotional needs.

Looking forward to being together.

Tinges of dishonesty with my mate.

Flirting and teasing.

Talking about personal matters.

Minor yet arousing touch, squeeze, or hug.

Special notes or gifts.

Inventing excuses to call or meet.

Arranging secret meetings.

Deceit and cover-ups.

Kissing and embracing.

Petting and high indiscretion.

Sexual intercourse.

(From Anatomy of Adultery – 15 Steps of Unfaithfulness by Keith Drury)

Furthermore, non-physical and physical sins are both sins with the same spiritual consequences but typically not the same physical consequences. For example, lusting in his heart after another woman by a married man will give Satan a toehold in his life from which a stronghold can be established and it is sin (Matthew 5:28). However, it may remain a secret to his family and not directly affect them (nevertheless it will affect them eventually – even if it remains a secret). Juxtaposed this with doing the thoughts physically and getting caught will not only open the door to a satanic stronghold – it can cause immediate strife in the marriage, loss of reputation, loss of ministry, etc!

Stay tuned for part two.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please pray for JoAnn S, in her 60’s, has covid and pneumonia and it is not looking good. Pray for her healing and keep her husband Ronnie in prayer. He is frustrated that he can’t be in the hospital or even call his wife.

Pray for Steve h, help in finding the perfect pastor for the church, strength and encouragement. Remember Pam his wife in prayer, chronic knee pain.

Keep Jennifer W, in prayer, would like to have another baby, she almost died having the first one. It is causing a lot of stress between her and her husband.

HELL IS STILL HOT

March 2, 2021

GRIM REAPER

I think it is clearly taught by Scripture, that a great many careless Christians will get into heaven. There will be a great many who will get in “by the skin of their teeth,” or as Lot was saved from Sodom, “so as by fire.” They will barely get in, but there will be no crown of rejoicing. But everybody is not going to rush into heaven.

It saddens me to hear careless talk about heaven. There is nowhere taught in the bible that salvation is universal. All roads do not lead there, there is indeed a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.

The bible states that broad is the path to destruction. How many foolish people state that because ‘they’ don’t believe it, then it must be so?

Today the word evangelism is almost a dirty word, in this age of tolerance and multi-culturism, we are told we are wrong about the bible, and heaven and Christ because we are no longer the majority and that we must change. Stating you are a Christian today can actually get you placed on FBI list as a suspected terrorist.

Wow, how did we come to that?

Yet the bible still says that Christ is the only way. Good thing He’s not affected by statistics or census.

So offend someone today and tell them they might be going to hell.

(no I’m not kidding)

Jesus spoke about hell more than any other topic. It is not a joke, nor a punch line. The torment will unimaginable and eternal, there is no purgatory and there is no getting out of hell. AND NO, God doesn’t send any body to hell, they all get to choose it all on their own.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Stacy A, she will be have cataract surgery tomorrow.

Pray for Caliste Burt, 14 hour brain surgery coming up in September.

Remember Stacie N, 2 inoperable brain tumors.

Remember Steve h, health, strength, guidance, encourage and help in finding a new pastor. Pray for Kim, his wife, chronic knee pain.

Pray for Brad K, Brad is a good Christian man, a good father, and a good police officer, he just sucks at one thing, choosing a wife, he is devasted that wife number 2 is divorcing him. Even though in marriage counseling we talked about the long hours, weird times, and the stress of being a cop’s wife. Even had her in a support group for wives of police officers. We find out today she has been having an affair of 2 months now. Thankfully no kids involved.

diamond

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS IS COSTLY.

It cost God the death of His beloved Son. It will not usually cost us that much, but it still may be very costly. I have read stories of parents who have forgiven the murderer or molester of their child. That is costly! At the very least, it costs us the time and effort to go to the offender and try to work on reconciliation. It does not happen automatically or when you are passive.

BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS IS UNDESERVED.

God forgives us by grace alone, which is undeserved favor. If someone has to earn it, it’s not forgiveness. If you make him pay or do penance, it’s not forgiveness.

BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS IS TOTAL.

God doesn’t forgive just some of our sins, saving some others to bring up later when He needs some leverage against us! He forgives them all (1 John 1:9). So we can’t say, “I forgive you for this, but I’m not going to forgive you for that!” It must be total.

BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS IS FINAL.

God doesn’t say, “If you do that again, I’m revoking your previous forgiveness!” He says (Heb. 10:17), “Their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more.” To forgive someone is to dismiss the case against him. You can’t bring it up again.

Much more could be said, but that gives us some understanding of the nature of biblical forgiveness. But, how do we put it into practice? We need the right perspective or mindset:

  1. To forgive others, we must understand the perspective needed for forgiveness.

Many Christian authors emphasize the benefits that forgiving others will bring to you. It’s true, you will benefit by forgiving others. You will get rid of your bitterness, which eats at your soul. You will enjoy restored relationships with others, along with many other blessings. But, the benefits for you are really the by-products of forgiveness. Your focus should not be on what’s in it for you, but rather on glorifying God and loving others.

THE MOTIVE IN FORGIVING OTHERS SHOULD BE TO GLORIFY GOD, WHO HAS FORGIVEN YOU.

As we saw in Ephesians 1:7, the forgiveness of our sins is according to the riches of His grace, so that we will be to the praise of His glory (1:12). If someone sees how much you have forgiven someone else and praises you for it, be quick to divert the praise to God, who has forgiven you so much.

REMEMBER HOW AND HOW MUCH GOD HAS FORGIVEN YOU IN CHRIST.

As we have seen, He forgave you by grace alone. You didn’t deserve anything but His judgment, but He still forgave you out of His great love. And He has forgiven you far more than you can ever forgive anyone else. Jay Adams (pp. 5-6) illustrates how much God has forgiven us by imagining sitting in a movie theater. The theater is packed and the show is about to begin. Then you discover that this movie is the unedited, undeleted story of your entire life! The sound track will contain everything that you have ever said. In fact, the movie will project everything you have ever thought, including all of the things you would have liked to have done if you thought you could have gotten away with it.

Every one of us is relieved that such a movie of us does not exist! But, God has that movie! His forgiveness means that He tosses it in the depths of the sea. Having been forgiven that much, He commands us to forgive others for their lesser sins against us (Matt. 18:21-35).

REMEMBER THAT GOD IS THE SOVEREIGN OVER ALL THAT HAPPENS AND HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE OF ALL.

When someone wrongs you, it helps to control your anger, root out bitterness, and make you ready to forgive if you remember that God has allowed this to happen for His purpose and your ultimate good (Rom. 8:28). When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, he could have become a very bitter young man. Instead, he chose to forgive his brothers. After their father died, they feared that now he would use his position of power to get revenge. But Joseph acknowledged God’s sovereignty and goodness when he said to them (Gen. 50:19-20), “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” By the way, it is blasphemous to say that we must sometimes forgive God. We only must forgive those who wrong us, and the Judge of the earth always does what is right!

Also, while we should not wish for or pray for God to judge our enemies, but rather to save them, we can take comfort in the fact that if they do not repent, they will face God’s justice someday (1 Pet. 4:17-19; Rev. 18:20; 19:1-3). Vengeance belongs to the Lord and He will repay; so we are free to forgive (Rom. 12:19).

HAVE COMPASSION ON THE OTHER PERSON AS A FELLOW SINNER NEEDING GOD’S GRACE.

Paul tells us to be kind and tenderhearted toward those who wrong us, rather than bitter and angry. One way to do that is to realize that you don’t know all that the other person has gone through in his life. Perhaps his parents abused him. That isn’t an excuse for his sin, but realizing that he may have had a difficult life may mitigate your anger and put you in the frame of mind to forgive. Also, it helps to realize that if I had been born in the ghetto to a drug-using mother who didn’t even know who my father was, I could be committing horrible sins today. In other words, the person who has wronged me is just like me, a sinner in need of God’s grace. So I need to be kind and forgiving towards him. That leads to the final step towards implementing forgiveness:

  1. To forgive others, we must take action to demonstrate forgiveness.

Before I discuss this point, I need to make two distinctions, which are vital for understanding and implementing biblical forgiveness. Then I need to give a brief warning before we look at the action of forgiveness.

FIRST DISTINCTION: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRANTING FORGIVENESS AND RE-ESTABLISHING TRUST.

When someone sins against you, he destroys trust in the relationship. Forgiveness is granted freely and graciously, but trust is earned over time. If a husband is unfaithful to his wife, she may forgive him freely, but she doesn’t trust him. That is not a contradiction! He must demonstrate repentance and integrity to earn back her trust and it will take time.

SECOND DISTINCTION: THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORGIVING SOMEONE IN YOUR HEART AND EXTENDING THAT FORGIVENESS TO HIM VERBALLY.

We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Question: Does God forgive sinners apart from their repentance and confession of sin? Answer: No. God is ready to forgive sinners the instant they repent. He has made provision so that any sinner that repents is promised mercy and abundant forgiveness (Isa. 55:6-7). He shows kindness towards sinners to lead them to repentance. But God does not forgive sinners unless they repent.

Thus I conclude that as imitators of God (Eph. 5:1), we must forgive in our hearts those who have wronged us. We must be praying for their repentance and be ready to forgive the instant that they do repent. Like the father of the prodigal son, we should be looking for their repentant return and when we see them on the horizon, we run joyously to welcome them back. But, we should not extend forgiveness verbally until they actually do repent.

WARNING: BE CAREFUL NOT TO REFLECT PRIDE IN SHOWING FORGIVENESS.

If someone has wronged you but has not yet come and asked forgiveness and you go to him and say, “I forgive you for what you did to me,” it may come across as pride. It puts you in the high place of saying, “I am such a kindhearted, benevolent soul that I’m going to forgive you, you undeserving wretch!”

I have heard amazing stories of those who have gone to a killer in prison and forgiven him for murdering their loved one. In some cases, it has led to his repentance and conversion. But in those cases, there wasn’t any doubt about the man’s guilt and so it didn’t come across as self-righteous pride on the part of the ones extending forgiveness. So be careful in how you go about extending forgiveness to the offender, that you don’t reflect pride.

ACTION: BE KIND, TENDERHEARTED, AND READY JOYOUSLY TO EXTEND FORGIVENESS THE INSTANT THE OFFENDER REPENTS.

If you’re thinking, “I hope that dirty rat gets what he has coming to him and that his life is ruined,” you haven’t forgiven him in your heart. If you’re seething with anger, you haven’t forgiven him. You have forgiven him when you pray for his repentance, when you cheerfully do kind deeds for  him, and when you well up with joy at the thought of his repentance and the restoration of the relationship.

You may be thinking, “But I don’t feel like doing something kind for him. Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite to act against my feelings?” The answer is, no, you would be obeying God! Often we must act in obedience and pray for God to change our feelings. If you can’t treat the other person with kindness out of a desire to please him, then do it out of a desire to please God. If you wait for good feelings towards the offender, you may never show him kindness. Remember, it is God’s kindness towards evil and ungrateful men that leads them to repentance (Luke 6:35; Rom. 2:4). Your kindness toward the offender for Christ’s sake may be what God uses to bring him to repentance.

Josephine Ligon (“Your Daffodils are Pretty,” Christianity Today [3/2/1979], p. 18) related an incident from her childhood that she never forgot. There was a family named Parsons in her hometown that preached and practiced forgiveness. On one occasion, Josephine and some of her third-grade friends put a handful of pencil shavings into the Parsons girl’s sandwich, just to be mean and to make her mad. But she didn’t get mad. Instead, the next day, without any sign of repentance from her persecutors, the Parsons girl brought everyone in the class a large, beautiful, hand-decorated cookie that said, “Jesus loves you.” That little girl demonstrated the action of forgiveness and those third graders remembered it for the rest of their lives!

Conclusion

If God has used this message to put on your heart relationships where you need to ask forgiveness or grant forgiveness, I urge you not to procrastinate. Maybe you cannot grant forgiveness because the other person has not repented, but you can pray for his repentance. You can ask God for ways to show kindness to the offender. You can be ready to forgive and restore the relationship.

General Oglethorpe once said to John Wesley, “I never forgive and I never forget,” to which Wesley replied, “Then, sir, I hope you never sin.” Because we all sin, we all need forgiveness and we all need to forgive, just as God in Christ has forgiven us.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Steve H in prayer, strength, guidance, encouragement, wisdom in helping the church find their new pastor. Pray for his wife Pam healing of her knees.

Remember Jim A, still recovering from the head fracture, lots of complications.

Our salvation list, Anne and Drew, Lauren, Nicole, Tara, Oscar and Cristina.

Pray that Tommy’s sister does forgive him, he has not only repented buy also did his time in prison, successfully completed his parole time, has a good job, been faithful to church.

Pray for Paul C, accountability.

Pray for Paul K, depression.

DOG BONE

I had gone over 50 years of wanting to close a chapter in my life to forgive someone that had ritually and sexually abused me. I finally worked up the nerve to tell the person that I forgave them. Their response was “I was messed up on drugs at the time I really do not remember.”

Just like that deniability.

When I asked a close relative, what should I do her comment was ‘well we all make mistakes.’

I thought my motive for asking for forgiveness was pure and honest, yet the anger I was feeling for not even being allowed to have a dialogue made me doubt my motives, was I looking for something else? A month of some deep soul searching and prayer led me to believe that I had indeed had the right motive and I knew that will all my heart I had truly forgiven.

So let us move on.

Asking for and granting forgiveness are not easy tasks! It’s not an easy subject to understand, as seen by the fact that different writers say conflicting things about forgiveness. It’s not an easy subject to practice, especially on the emotional level. The deeper you have been hurt, the more difficult it is truly to forgive. Some of you were abused emotionally, physically, or sexually as children by your parents or by trusted family members. Some of you have children who were abused by your mate or by a family member. Some have been betrayed by an unfaithful spouse whom you loved and cared for deeply. These kinds of wrongs are not easy to forgive.

But if you’re a Christian, seeking and granting forgiveness are not optional. Jesus said that if you do not forgive others, the heavenly Father will not forgive you (Matt. 6:15; Mark 11:25). Scholars are divided over whether that refers to being under God’s eternal judgment or to your relationship with the Father as His child. I favor the second option. But either way, you don’t want to miss out on the Father’s forgiveness! Jesus said that forgiving others is so important that if you are worshiping God when you remember that your brother has something against you, you should first go be reconciled to your brother and then come back to worship God (Matt. 5:23-24). So it is vital for you as a Christian to grapple with understanding and practicing forgiveness. Since many books have been written on this topic, I can only touch on some of the issues.

In the context, Paul is showing specific ways that we are to put on the new man, “which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (4:24). In our last study, we saw how we are to put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander (4:31). We are to replace these sins with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (4:32). Now we want to focus on what it means to forgive and how we can practically apply it.

To forgive others, we must understand the nature of forgiveness and the perspective needed for it, and we must take action to demonstrate forgiveness.

  1. To forgive others, we must understand the nature of forgiveness.

What does it mean to ask forgiveness or to forgive someone? There is a lot of misunderstanding here. Jay Adams (From Forgiven to Forgiving [Calvary Press], pp. 58-60) argues that apologizing is the world’s substitute for forgiving. He points out that there is not a single reference in the Bible to apologizing. It is an unbiblical concept. It allows the wrongdoer to tell you how he feels (“I’m sorry”) without acknowledging his sin and it does not ask the one sinned against to grant forgiveness.

Adams also points out (pp. 112, 135) that biblical forgiveness does not mean accepting the other person in his sin, which often amounts to condoning sin. Again, this is often the world’s way. The world brushes aside the concept of sin by saying, “Hey, no problem! Don’t worry about it, we all make mistakes!” But there is no acknowledgement or confession of sin.

In biblical forgiveness, the wrongdoer admits, “I sinned against you,” and asks, “Will you forgive me?” The one wronged must respond by promising, “I forgive you.” This is very different than just saying you’re sorry or saying to the one who wronged you, “Hey, don’t worry about it!”

Paul says that we are to forgive each other “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” God didn’t say, “Hey, don’t worry about it, we all make mistakes!” He didn’t just brush our sin aside. Rather, our sin renders us truly guilty before God’s holy justice. We have violated His holy law. He requires that the penalty be paid. But in love, He sent His own Son to bear the penalty that we deserved. When the guilty sinner repents of his sin and lays hold of Christ by faith, God graciously and totally forgives the debt of sin. He releases the sinner from the guilt of his sin. He promises not to remember those sins against him, in the sense of not bringing them up again for judgment. And, He is reconciled to the sinner through the blood of Christ. Extrapolating from God’s forgiveness of us, we can say the following about our forgiveness of others:

  1. BIBLICAL FORGIVENESS IS THE DECISION…

Before I tell you what this decision involves, let me underscore that it is a deliberate decision you must make. A friend of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, once reminded her of an especially cruel thing that someone had done to her years before. But Miss Barton did not seem to recall it. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” said Miss Barton, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.” Forgiveness is the decision to drop the offense, to let it go. It involves at least five aspects:

         To release the offender from the guilt of his sin.

When God forgives us, He brings down the gavel in His courtroom and declares, “Not guilty! Case dismissed.” And the guilty sinner bears his guilt no longer! When you choose to forgive someone, you let the matter drop, releasing him from his guilt.

         To refuse to bring up the offense to use against the offender.

When God says that He will not remember our sins any more (Heb. 8:12; 10:17), He does not forget them in the sense of amnesia. Rather, He means that He will not bring up any of our offenses against us in the future. We do not have to fear standing before Him someday, because there is now no condemnation for us in Christ (Rom. 8:1). To forgive someone is to promise not to bring the matter up again to use against him. Sometimes it is necessary to bring up a forgiven sin for the purpose of teaching or restoration. Sometimes it is proper to impose consequences to teach the seriousness of sin, as God did with David after his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:9-14). It may be proper for a forgiven offender to be required to make restitution. If he committed a crime, he may need to be prosecuted and spend time in prison. But when we forgive him, we should not bring up his sin to accuse or condemn him or to win an argument.

         To refuse to think about the offense.

Thankfully, God is not in heaven rehearsing our forgiven sins every day! For us, this is one of the most difficult aspects of forgiveness, especially when the wrong was serious. But, like Clara Barton, we must distinctly remember to forget past wrongs that we have chosen to forgive. You must deliberately direct your thoughts to other things, such as how much God has forgiven you. To dwell on an offense that you have forgiven is to break your promise to forgive.

         To refuse to talk to others about the offense.

If you say that you forgive someone and then tell others about the offense, you are trying to make the offender pay, which is not forgiveness. Or, you’re trying to evoke sympathy or admiration from others at the offender’s expense. When you forgive, you choose to drop the matter. The only exception would be if you fear that the offender may be trying to repeat his sin toward another person, who needs to be warned of the danger. For example, if someone has molested your child and you see him hanging out with another family with young children, it is appropriate to warn them to be on guard.

         To be reconciled with the offender as far as is biblically possible.

God forgives us so that we may be reconciled to Him and enjoy a close relationship with Him. When we forgive others, we should also seek to restore the broken relationship. This does not always mean becoming best of friends, but it should at least mean that we are cordial and friendly towards the person. To say, “I forgive you, but I never want to see your ugly face again,” is not to forgive as God forgives! Of course, if the offender does not truly repent of his sin, we cannot be truly reconciled or in a close relationship. But even then, we are still commanded to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:27-28).

So, biblical forgiveness is a decision to release the offender from the guilt of his sin, to refuse to bring up the offense to use against him, to refuse to think about the offense, to refuse to talk to others about the offense, and to be reconciled to the offender if possible.

3 KEYS TO VICTORY

February 27, 2021

thinking over feeling

3 keys to facing any trial.

  1. Believe in God’s infinite wisdom.

  2. Believe in God’s perfect love.

  3. Believe in a God that is sovereign.

In perfect faith believe whole heartedly in these three aspects of God’s character and you will be victorious through any trial.

What victorious means to a well-grounded Christian and not some faith speak the word, I can create universes with my god given faith/talents malarkey.

Victorious means never doubting God’s wisdom, love and sovereign rights to your life and the fact is you may not be healed, or delivered, you may lose your spouse to death or divorce. Victorious is that fact that God does not change, nor does he lose control of anything. We may not understand the situation, but we have the ability to always trust God.

Like the old hymn says, ‘it is well with my soul’ in the midst of any crisis, a struggle with mental health, cancer, famine, death. We just went through 16 days without running water, 5 days with no heat, temperatures around 5 degrees. Unheard of in South Texas. But every day I would spin the globe in my office and point to almost anywhere else and say, ‘they have it worse’. So, yes, it is well with my soul. We had food, a fireplace, lots of blankets and because we know disasters happen we had extra food and we took water out of the pool and boiled it and candles and no matter how old Spam is it is still edible it never expires. (really, I called the company, they said the texture my be repulsive but it is always edible).

Now, the clean up begins, new water pipes, dealing with dozens of dead deer, broken fences, and who knows how many downed trees. But we are still blessed.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer requests. And feel free to email us questions, comments and prayer requests, even the negative comments are welcome, it shows someone is reading these anyhow.

HIDDEN IN LOVE

February 26, 2021

image

Does 1 John 3:9 Teach that Christians Must Be Sinless?

Answer

First of all, it is often helpful to consult several different translations, to see how they render a perplexing verse:

9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9 (NASB)

9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 (ESV)

9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. (1 Jn. 3:9 NIV)

9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9 (KJV)

It is fairly obvious that some translations render the verse in such a way that one could conclude that the Christian can never sin, while other translations indicate that the Christian must not persist in sin habitually.

It is worthy of note that this same verse (1 John 3:9) says that the reason one cannot persist in habitual sin is that “God’s seed abides in him.” Both “practices/makes a practice of” and “abides” are in the present tense. God’s seed remains in the believer, and this is why sin must not be one’s habitual practice. If a person could sin and loses their salvation, how can it be said that God’s seed remains in that person?

So which of these seemingly contradictory views is correct? We must now turn to other texts of Scripture to confirm or clarify the meaning of 1 John 3:9. We will begin with what John himself says earlier in this very epistle:

8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 1:8-2:1, NASB).

The one who is wrong is the one who denies that sin is an ongoing problem. Just as we need God’s initial forgiveness to be saved, we likewise need his ongoing cleansing and forgiveness, because sin is still an ongoing problem (as we see, for example, in Romans 7). Following up on this, I would suggest that you give thought to our Lord’s words to Peter:

5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you” (John 13:5-10, NASB).

Here, Jesus distinguishes between the one-time washing of salvation from the need for ongoing cleansing from sin.

When we look at other passages we see that God clearly prescribes how we should deal with Christians who sin, and when rebuked, keep on sinning. It is not assumed that such sinning results in a loss of salvation, but it may very well lead to severe discipline:

15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:15-20, NASB).

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:1-5, NASB).

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning (1 Timothy 5:19-20, NASB).

Matthew 18 says that we are to treat the persistent and unrepentant sinner as though they were an unbeliever, but this does not mean that every such sinner is an unbeliever (though some could be). In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul speaks of a professing believer who will not cease his sin. He is turned over to Satan for discipline, but this is so that “his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (5:20).

In the light of these texts, it is clear to me that 1 John 3:9 is saying that a genuine Christian must not live as he or she once did as an unbeliever (see Romans 6 here). Thus, the ESV says “makes a practice of sinning,” avoiding the inference that it is just one sin. In the case of ongoing and persistent sin, even after admonition, we have the necessity of exercising discipline, as prescribed by the texts above. My understanding is that sinning saints will not lose their salvation, but may very well experience God’s discipline, perhaps at the severe hand of Satan. But the end goal is their salvation, not their damnation.

In the end, salvation provides the forgiveness of sin, but it is not a license to sin. We will all sin, and for this we have the finished work of Christ on the cross and His ongoing advocacy/mediation for us in heaven. If we persist in our sin then our loving Father will discipline us as His children (see, for example, Hebrews 12).

One final comment. In truth, every Christian is sinless in God’s eyes, because He sees us in Christ, the only sinless One, who died and was raised from the dead so that we could be accepted as righteous in God’s sight (See John 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:17-23).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Mikaela in your prayers, 17 years old and doing better and says thanks for the prayers, but she still has some episodal moments. Depression no longer rules her life but her father can/will set her off by his bad behavior.

Sherry, Cherry, Mona, Crissy are all doing well and are always excited to know that others are praying for them. They are growing in the Lord and it is always a challenge to answer their questions.

Keep Steve H in prayer, strength and endurance, guidance in finding a new pastor. Keep his wife Pam in prayer for her knees, always quite painful.

Please pray for Gary M, a very long time ago he was involved in a cult. He had to be forcibly removed from that cult and deprogrammed. Because of that experience he has always closed himself off from any form of religion. Now he is dying and the gospel message is falling on seemingly deaf ears. Pray that the Holy Spirit will make real to him the full love and forgiveness of God.

CAN THE DEVIL READ YOUR MIND?

February 25, 2021

man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

Can Satan put thoughts in our minds that can be used to tempt us to sin?

This is really a tough question and many Bible students would probably offer different opinions. The issue, as always, is what does the Bible teach us on such issues? So I’ll share a few thoughts on this.

I can think of no passage which specifically states that Satan can do this by directly tampering with our minds, i.e., inserting thoughts apart from some instrument, but he certainly has a multitude of ways by which he seeks to influence our thought processes through the world system over which he rules as the one called the god (ruler) of this world or age (2 Cor. 4:4; John 12:31). This seems to be the general focus of Scripture on his many schemes, temptation, and deceptions.

Ephesians 6:16 speaks of the flaming arrows sent by the wicked one (Satan). This may simply refer, however, to the varied external temptations and testings by which he seeks to control or influence our minds through what we see, read, and hear. Due to his great power and cunning, however, it could possibly go beyond this.

We all wonder at times just where some of our thoughts come from and it may be that, if we are not as focused on the Lord and His truth as we should be, Satan through his demon hosts can somehow raise thoughts and questions in our minds. John 13:2 is a passage which may support this, though we aren’t told just how the devil put it into Judas’ heart to betray the Savior. This could simply refer to the culmination of the processes of external temptations that affected Judas’ own thinking because of his failure to respond and truly believe in Christ. In John 13:27 we are told that Satan entered Judas (who was not a believer, nor was the Holy Spirit yet given to believers), but this was after the statement of 13:2.

James 1:14 tells us that ultimately, all temptation to sin comes from our own sinful nature. Satan simply seeks to influence that nature in any way he can. Genesis 3 gives us a picture of the way Satan operates. He uses instruments through which he seeks to speak and present his nefarious ideas and temptations. But James later promises us that if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. We resist him by drawing near to the Lord through prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and by the careful open-hearted study of the Word (cf. Jam 4:7-8).

People, of course, can tamper with demonic things (the occult, mediums, fortunetellers, Ouija boards, even drugs, etc.) and through these avenues come more and more under Satan’s influence and control even to the point of demon possession, but this is by choice. When people fail to respond to God’s grace, they open themselves up to greater and greater control by the devil. The greater that control, the more likely is his ability to control one’s mind or thinking processes.

Bottomline; Satan cannot read the mind of a believer, can he read the mind of anyone,, I doubt it. But, he is an expert on human nature and his demon spirits keep a constant watch on us to see what things tempt us. There must be a demonic rolodex (dating my age here) with all your pertinent info on it; i.e. he knows a brunette in a blue dress won’t make you have sexual fantasies, but he knows a blond in a red dress will drive you nuts. Guess which one shows up at the restaurant when you are working out of town?.

Pavlovian theory, he is the master and we are dogs, slaves to are appetites without a life committed to Jesus. As Bob Dylan sings, you have to serve someone, you do get a choice.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Hallelujah, after 12 days of no water and alternate days of electricity it seems as though we are back on track. My wife was so happy to not boil water to do dishes and flush the toilets without slepping (not a real word, it means working, slang) water from the pool.

Keep Caliste Burt in prayer, 14 hour brain surgery in September, doctor needs that much time just to practice and get his skills back online.

Pray for Jaime S, sever vertico.

Keep Steve H in prayer, strength, encouragement, blessings, and guidance in finding a new pastor. Prayers for his wife, chronic knee pain.

JW’S IN HELL

February 24, 2021

Exploding head

Jehovah Witnesses deviate from biblical Christianity in several areas. I will discuss some of their major doctrinal errors. First, like all the cults, they deny the Trinity. They believe there is one God, Jehovah. Jesus, is actually Michael the Archangel, the first of God’s creation, who became flesh at the incarnation. After the resurrection, He returned to heaven as Michael the Archangel. The Holy Spirit is not God but an active force much like electricity or fire.

Second, Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, but instead believe He was raised as a spirit and manifested Himself several times in different materialized bodies.

Third, they deny the existence of hell and eternal punishment, but believe in total annihilation after death. Only the elite ruling class, the 144,000, are allowed to go to heaven. The faithful Jehovah’s Witnesses remain unconscious after death till they are resurrected in the Millennium. Those who are not in the organization are annihilated after death.

3.5 million members world wide and yet only 144,000 are going to heaven. Talk about a lottery system.

Their greatest strength is their indoctrination. They teach their faithful followers better than any other religious group, period. Witnessing to them is difficult because they are better versed in bible than real Christians are. When they come to your house to witness, they use your bible not theirs. But they rely on trickery, our ignorance and they are very polite.

Year ago, I saw an ad in a newspaper asking if you were interested in religious literature and yes they would ship it to you for free. One week later I received a box of over 50 books. I knew by the first page that it was from the JW’s. but as I read through the books finding error after error I wondered how many would be fooled. So in one of the books I highlighted all the errors and in an adult Sunday School class we played a game ‘real or false’ 98% of the class could not tell you why it was wrong. Most knew in their gut a passage was wrong but couldn’t give you a bible verse to prove you wrong.

Here is another thing to remember about cults, almost every one of them was founded by someone with a criminal record. Second, the average life span of a JW in a church environment is 18 months. They either burn out, get resentful of the intrusion of the cult into their lives or find a general malaise about membership.

One of the most effective ways to evangelize Jehovah’s Witnesses is to destroy their faith in the Society. Remember, salvation is found only in this organization. The Watch Tower Society is seen as the spokesman for God. If you can show Witnesses the serious errors of the organization, they will begin to have doubts and questions. This can sometimes lead them to leave the Society.

Attacking the Society’s record of false prophecy can cause JWs to to question the organization. This approach is effective because they claim to have the true understanding of the end times. If we can show them that the organization has been constantly wrong in the area of prophecy, this will certainly make an impact. When the Jehovah’s Witnesses show up at your door again, begin first by asking them, “Are you prophets of God?” Some will say, “Yes.” Others may say, “We are prophets in a sense.” You must make it clear there is no such thing as “a prophet in a sense.” There are only true prophets and false prophets. Some may deny being prophets. If so, show them a copy of the April 1, 1972, Watch Tower article on page 197, which states clearly that they are prophets.

Second, define clearly what makes a true prophet and a false prophet using Deuteronomy 18:20-22. A true prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and predicts future things which come to pass. A false prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah and predicts future things which do not come to pass. Make sure they understand this, for this is the most critical step.

Third, ask them, “Is there an organization that fits the character of a false prophet?” That’s when you say, “Let’s take a look at the Watch Tower Organization.” Have handy copies of the articles mentioned here. The 1889 issue, “The Time is at Hand,” page 101 states, “The battle of the great day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914, with the complete overthrow of earth’s present rulership, is already commenced.” This 1914 prediction of Christ’s return never came true.

Then the Watch Tower predicted that Christ would return in 1925. The 1918 issue of, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” p. 89 states, “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the apostle in Hebrews 11 to the condition of human perfection.” This proved to be another false prophecy.

The Watch Tower made a third prophecy of the return of Christ; this one was to occur in 1975. The August 15, 1968, issue of, Why Are You Looking Forward to 1975?, p. 494, predicted the return of Christ in 1975. Once again the Witnesses were shown to be false prophets. If the Witnesses don’t believe these articles are real, tell them to look them up in their church’s library.

Another interesting prophecy is found on page 154 of their book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth. Here they state, “Some of the generation living in 1914 will see the end of the system of things and survive it.” Most of the 1914 generation are dead, and the few remaining are very old. In just a few years, the Watch Tower will again have another false prophecy. When presented clearly, the record of the Watch Tower’s false prophecies is a very effective tool in witnessing to JWs.

(A free PDF file of copies of these false prophecies, as well as helpful information

on the invention of the word “Jehovah,” is available HERE.)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Our purpose here to save the perishing, rescue the deceived, and strengthen the Saints. Not to tear down or eviscerate anyone. Heaven is real and so is Hell. The stairway to heaven is a great rock song but not an automatic entry point for all of humanity. Jesus Christ is the only path to heaven.

Remember Steve h in prayer, strength, encouragement, blessings and guidance in finding a new pastor for the church. Heal for his wife Pam and her severe knee problems.

Paul C, accountability

Paul K, victory over spiritual depression and grief.

Pray for Paula, after 6 years off being a widow, married to Max for 39 years, she is going to start dating. I told her to buy a cat, it would be a lot safer.

radiator

SUCK THE HEAD, SQUEEZE THE TIP (THE RADIATORS) WILD AND FREE ALBUM.

Terminology, it is important. You cannot talk to anybody about religion until you define the terms. Just like the above-mentioned song. It’s not until you are half way through the song until you realize its about crawfish. (get your mind out of the gutter).

Mormons speak in tongues, so do Pentecostals and Juju doctors and cult members. So it can’t mean all the same.

The term prophecy means something different to Chuck Swindoll than Jimmy Swaggart.

I’m a Christian, really so am I, trust me that means something different to 10 different people.

Apostles, to 99% of Christians there are no living Apostles. What about the 1%, better ask them their definition.

Do not start a conversation on religion or politics until you agree to terminology. Then the best conversation might be the one you never had.

Emotions and opinions, like alcohol and gasoline, they do not mix, and you will never change anyone’s opinion if they are arguing from emotion. Just walk away.

So you want to witness to someone about Jesus, keep calm and carry on, just agree on what your words mean.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember our prayer list.

Questions, comments, prayer requests, just send us an email.

Blessings.

NUMBER ONE ASKED QUESTION

February 22, 2021

the bible

THE KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD (THIS IS STILL OUR NUMBER ONE ASKED QUESTION)

 

God has a specific or direct will for the life of each Christian. It should be our highest purpose to determine just what His will is for us and then to do it, whatever the cost.

In order to know the will of God for our lives, we must first know God Himself.  We can never know who we are without first knowing whose we are.  We learn to know Him as we submit more and more to His authority (Lordship), are obedient to His Word, and are led by the Holy Spirit. In direct proportion to our knowledge of Him and our submission to Him, we experience the joy of walking in His will.  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6 KJV).

YES THERE ARE CONDITIONS IN OUR LIFE THAT CAN HINDER US FROM KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD.

  1. We must make right any conduct or relationships that may constitute a barrier against knowing God’s will. Sometimes a relationship with a sweetheart or a business partner will have to end, or some sin must be confessed.

  2. Clearing the way to God must be through confession (1 John 1:9), and with others through apologies and restitution, if necessary. “Always (have) a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:16, KJV).

  3. To do God’s will, whatever it may be or may cost. “He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23, KJV).

  4. Seek God’s will in the light of revealed Scripture. What principles, commands or prohibitions apply? Has the Holy Spirit given any motivating verses or promises? “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105, KJV).

  5. Pray for God’s will to be revealed, and also pray that he may be spiritually perceptive enough to discern it. Isaac’s servant said, “I, being in the way, the Lord led me” (Genesis 24:27, KJV).

  6. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, asking yourself: “Is He moving me toward, or away from, a particular course of action?” “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13, NIV).

  7. “Am I at peace as I consider the factors involved? Or am I restless and impatient because of uncertainty or inner conflict?” “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever” (Isaiah 32:17, KJV).

Scripture

“I delight to do thy will, O my god: yea, thy law is within my hear.”

            Psalm 40:8, KJV

“Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”

            1 Samuel 15:22, KJV

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

            John 14:15,23 KJV

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,  deceiving your own selves.”

            James 1:22, KJV

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

“Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.”

            Psalm 37:3,5, KJV

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory:  no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

            Psalm 84:11, KJV

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Martha, she was the first missionary we sponsored to Argentina, that was in 2015, she is coming home, maybe permanently, had gall bladder surgery and things have not been quite right ever since then.

Pray for Pat L, leaky gut syndrome, she was losing 5-8lbs per week (not voluntarily). Doctors have not really figured out why, but they have stopped the weight loss.

Pray for Steve H, encouragement, strength, guidance for the church as they look for a new pastor. Pray for his wife Pam, healing of her knees.

Pray for us, still no water, however our water storage tank did fill up today, just can’t find the busted pipes in the house, we are getting close. Still have much to do in the down trees and fence repair. Took the day off today, went to my son’s house and took showers.