Genuine Longing

June 29, 2017

True, real longing,

 I long to know Christ and the power which is in His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10, Weymouth Translation. If you can find a printed copy of this translation do so, it will really bless you).

  The difficult thing for most hungry-hearted believers is to wait in dependence upon the Lord for everything. Truth is not to be grasped, but received—received by faith, mainly through study. How true this is concerning reckoning! Many seek to reckon before they understand the scriptural facts upon which to count, and that adds up to failure. The secret is to learn the truth of our identification with the Lord Jesus so thoroughly that reckoning and its resultant growth will come as a matter of course, just as in our justification.

The death of our Lord on the Cross has depths of meaning that can only be plumbed by way of discovered need, but then reveals ‘unsearchable riches.’ To the believer who still has hopes of ‘attaining’ in the Christian life, a verse such as Romans 6:11 is a rather meaningless jargon used by those who give messages on the ‘deepening of the spiritual life.

To the believer who has been taught by the Holy Spirit something of his own utter, inbred sinfulness, it comes as a message from God full of hope and encouragement. He grasps the rescue rope flung to him by the right hand of Omnipotence, and with humble thankfulness sets out to learn how he can reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God in Jesus Christ our Lord. When he looks at the Cross he sees there the fact that not only did the Lord Jesus die for him, but that he himself was taken down into His death, in order that the practical reality of His resurrection life might transform him into the divine likeness.

  “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

NOTE: If you live in the Boerne, Comfort, Waring area of Texas and are interested in becoming part of a new church start up email me and let me know.

And as a housekeeping note, questions, comments, and prayer requests also to the email address please, blessings.

also having a problem tonight with posting to my twitter account. sorry about that.

 

better yet

June 25, 2017

19 ways to say I will

Since his death in 1758, Jonathan Edwards has become recognized as one of America’s greatest pastors, theologians and thinkers. But there was a time, says church historian Sean Lucas, when Jonathan Edwards wasn’t the Jonathan Edwards we know.

 At 19, Edwards began writing a list of 70 resolutions. His goal in making and keeping resolutions wasn’t self-fulfillment but the glory of God. Edwards would later write, “I felt in me a burning desire to be in everything a complete Christian.”

 In a list similar to the one created by Edwards, Scottish theologian Sinclair Ferguson compiled 19 suggested resolutions from the book of James that can help shape our own lives:

  1. Ask God for wisdom to speak and with a single mind (see 1:5)

  2. Boast only in exaltation in Christ (see 1:9–10)

  3. Set a watch over your mouth (see 1:13)

  4. Be constantly quick to hear, slow to speak (see 1:19)

  5. Learn the gospel way of speaking to the poor and the rich (see 2:1–4)

  6. Speak always in the consciousness of the final judgment (see 2:12)

  7. Never claim as reality something you do not experience (see 3:14)

  8. Resist quarrelsome words (see 4:1)

  9. Never speak evil of another (see 4:11)

  10. Never boast in what you will accomplish (see 4:13)

  11. Always speak as one subject to the providences of God (see 4:15)

  12. Never grumble (see 5:9)

  13. Never allow anything but total integrity in your speech (see 5:12)

  14. Speak to God in prayer whenever you suffer (see 5:13)

  15. Sing praises to God whenever you are cheerful (see 5:13)

  16. Ask for the prayers of others when you are sick (see 5:14)

  17. Confess it freely whenever you have failed (see 5:15)

  18. Pray with and for one another when you are together with others (see 5:15)

  19. Speak words of restoration when you see another wander (see 5:19)

  Want a tip for how to apply these resolutions to your own life? Over the next five to six weeks, highlight three or four of these resolutions and add them to your daily routine. Continue the process until you’ve added all 19. Mark off a date 90 days from today on your calendar or journal to reflect and pray about how these resolutions have changed your heart and character.

I’m not sure where this fits on the list of questions I get asked, but it has to be near the top 10, “how can I be a better Christian?”

This would be a good start, blessing y’all

From scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

the Big 3 P’s

June 24, 2017

This has been taped into the back cover of the bible that was given to me at ordination. It has always blessed me, hope it blesses and strengthens you as well.

Purpose, Provision, Process

  “I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory” (Ex. 33:18).

  There are three vital factors that will keep us on the path, and in the power, of spiritual growth: (1) study to know that God’s purpose in saving us is to conform us to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:28, 29); (2) learn to reckon upon the finished work of the Cross as His provision for that purpose (Rom. 6:11); (3) yield to the Holy Spirit as He carries out the daily process of that purpose (2 Cor. 4:11).

Christ Jesus’ earthly life showed the path, His heavenly life gives the power, in which we are to walk. What God hath joined together no man may separate. Whosoever does not stand in the full faith of the Redemption, has not the strength to follow the Example. And whosoever does not seek conformity to the Image as the great purpose of Redemption, cannot fully enter its power. Christ lived on earth that He might show forth the image of God in His life; He lives in heaven that we may show forth the image of God in our lives.

God has but one way of revealing Himself, it is ‘Christ in you.’ He has no other way of showing Himself to men except as Christ lives in us; not by the Shekinah glory in the temple built with hands of men, but in lives redeemed and freed and cleansed as they walk about in this dark world with Christ living in them.

  “And we all, while with face unveiled we behold in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are ourselves transformed continually into the same likeness; and the glory which shines upon us is reflected by us, even as it proceeds from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18,

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Keep growing in God, blessings

do your part

June 20, 2017

Today as never before, Christians are being called upon to give reasons for the hope that is within them. Often in the evangelistic context seekers raise questions about the validity of the gospel message. Removing intellectual objections will not make one a Christian; a change of heart wrought by the Spirit is also necessary. But though intellectual activity is insufficient to bring another to Christ, it does not follow that it is also unnecessary. In this essay we will examine the place and purpose of apologetics in the sharing of our faith with others.

The word “apologetics” never actually appears in the Bible. But there is a verse which contains its meaning:

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you the reason for the hope that is within you with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

The Greek word apologia means “answer,” or “reasonable defense.” It does not mean to apologize, nor does it mean just to engage in intellectual dialogue. It means to provide reasonable answers to honest questions and to do it with humility, respect, and reverence.

The verse thus suggests that the manner in which one does apologetics is as important as the words expressed. And Peter tells us in this passage that Christians are to be ready always with answers for those who inquire of us concerning our faith. Most Christians have a great deal of study ahead of them before this verse will be a practical reality in their evangelistic efforts.

Another question that often comes up in a discussion about the merits and place of apologetics is, “What is the relationship of the mind to evangelism?” “Does the mind play any part in the process?” “What about the effects of the fall?” “Isn’t man dead in trespasses and sins?” “Doesn’t the Bible say we are to know nothing among men except Jesus Christ and Him crucified?” “Why do we have to get involved at all in apologetics if the Spirit is the One Who actually brings about the New Birth?”

I think you will agree that today there are many Christians who are firmly convinced that answering the intellectual questions of unbelievers is an ineffectual waste of time. They feel that any involvement of the mind in the gospel interchange smacks too much of human effort and really just dilutes the Spirit’s work.

But Christianity thrives on intelligence, not ignorance. If a real Reformation is to accompany the revival for which many of us pray, it must be something of the mind as well as the heart. It was Jesus who said, “Come and see.” He invites our scrutiny and investigation both before and after conversion.

We are to love God with the mind as well as the heart and the soul. In fact, the early church was powerful and successful because it out-thought and out-loved the ancient world. We are not doing either very well today.

People respond to the gospel for various reasons—some out of pain or a crisis, others out of some emotional need such as loneliness, guilt, insecurity, etc. Some do so out of a fear of divine judgment. And coming to know Christ brings a process of healing and hope to the human experience. To know Christ is to find comfort for pain, acceptance for insecurity and low self-esteem, forgiveness for sin and guilt.

And others seem to have intellectual questions which block their openness to accept the credibility of the Christian message. These finally find in Christ the answers to their intellectual doubts and questions.

Those today who are actively involved in evangelism readily recognize the need for this kind of information to witness to certain people, and there are many more doubters and skeptics out there today than there were even twenty years ago.

We can see more clearly where we are as a culture by taking a good look at Paul’s world in the first century. Christianity’s early beginnings flourished in a Graeco-Roman culture more X-rated and brutal than our own. And we find Paul adapting his approach from group to group.

For instance, he expected certain things to be in place when he approached the Jewish communities and synagogues from town to town. He knew he would find a group which already had certain beliefs which were not in contradiction to the gospel he preached. They were monotheists. They believed in one God. They also believed this God had spoken to them in their Scriptures and had given them absolute moral guidelines for behavior (the Ten Commandments).

But when Paul went to the Gentile community, he had no such expectations. There he knew he would be faced with a culture that was polytheistic (many gods), biblically ignorant, and living all kinds of perverted, wicked lifestyles. And on Mars Hill in Athens when he preached the gospel, he did somewhat modify his approach.

He spoke of God more in terms of His presence and power, and he even quoted truth from a Greek poet in order to connect with these “pagans” and get his point across: “We are God’s offspring” (Acts 17:28).

One hundred years ago, the vast majority of Americans pretty much reflected the Jewish mentality, believing in God, having a basic respect for the Bible, and strong convictions about what was right and what was wrong.

That kind of American can still be found today in the 90s, but George Gallup says they aren’t having much of an impact on the pagan, or Gentile community, which today holds few beliefs compatible with historic Christianity.

To evangelize such people, we have our work cut out for us. And we will have to use both our minds and our hearts to “become all things to all men in order to save some.”

As we’re considering how we as Christians can have an impact on our increasingly fragmented society, we need to keep in mind that many do not share our Christian view of the world, and some are openly hostile to it.

In fact, a college professor recently commented that he felt the greatest impediment to social progress right now was what he called the bigoted, dogmatic Christian community. That’s you and me, folks.

If we could just “loosen up a little,” and compromise on some issues, America would be a happier place. What is meant by this is not just a demand for tolerance . . . but wholesale acceptance of any person’s lifestyle and personal choices!

But the Bible calls us to be “salt and light” in our world. How can we be that effectively?I don’t have a total answer, but I’ll tell you after 30+ years of active ministry what isn’t working. And by my observation, far too many Christians are trying to address the horrendous issues of our day with one of three very ineffective approaches.

Defensive Approach Many Christians out there are mainly asking the question, “How strong are our defenses?” “How high are our walls?” This barricade mentality has produced much of the Christian subculture. We have our own language, literature, heroes, music, customs, and educational systems. Of course, we need places of support and fellowship. But when Paul describes spiritual warfare in 2 Corinthians 10, he actually reverses the picture. It is the enemy who is behind walls, inside strongholds of error and evil. And Paul depicts the Christians as those who should be mounting offensives at these walls to tear down the high things which have exalted themselves above the knowledge of God. We are to be taking ground, not just holding it.

Defeatist Approach Other Christians have already given up. Things are so bad, they say, that my puny efforts won’t change anything. “After all, we are living in the last days, and Jesus said that things would just get worse and worse.” This may be true, but it may not be. Jesus said no man knows the day or the hour of His coming. Martin Luther had the right idea when he said, “If Jesus were to come tomorrow, I’d plant a tree today and pay my debts.” The Lord may well be near, He could also tarry awhile. Since we don’t know for sure, we should be seeking to prepare ourselves and our children to live for Him in the microchip world of the 21st century.

Devotional Approach Other Christians are trying to say something about their faith, but sadly, they can only share their personal religious experience. It is true that Paul speaks of us as “epistles known and read” by all men. Our life/experience with Christ is a valid witness. But there are others out there in the culture with “changed” lives . . . and Jesus didn’t do the changing! Evangelism today must be something more than “swapping” experiences. We must learn how to ground our faith in the facts of history and the claims of Christ. We must have others grapple with Jesus Christ, nor just our experience.

We need to:

  1. Go to people. The heart of evangelism is Christians taking the initiative to actually go out and “fish for men.” Acts 17:17 describes for us how Paul was effective in his day and time: “Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the gentile worshippers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.”

  1. Communicate with people. Engage them. Sharing the Gospel involves communication. People must be focused upon and then understand the Gospel to respond to it. It is our responsibility as Christians to make it as clear as possible for all who will listen. “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11).

  1. Relate to people. Effective witness involves not only the transmission of biblical information; it also includes establishing a relationship with the other person. Hearts, as well as heads, must meet. “So, affectionately longing for you,” said Paul to the Thessalonians, “we were well pleased to import to you not only the good news of God, but also our own lives, because you have become dear to us” (1 Thess. 2:8).

  1. Remove barriers. Part of our responsibility involves having the skills to eliminate obstacles, real or imagined, which keep an individual from taking the Christian message seriously. When God sent the prophet Jeremiah forth, He said, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth . . . and I have ordained you to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Sometimes our task as well is one of “spiritual demolition,” of removing the false so the seeds of truth can take root. Apologetics sometimes serves in that capacity, of preparing a highway for God in someone’s life.

  1. Explain the gospel to others. We need an army of Christians today who can consistently and clearly present the message to as many people as possible. Luke says of Lydia, “The Lord opened her heart so that she heeded the things which were spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). Four essential elements in sharing the gospel:

someone talking (Paul)

things spoken (gospel)

someone listening (Lydia)

the Lord opening the heart.

  1. Invite others to receive Christ. We can be clear of presentation, but ineffective because we fail to give someone the opportunity and encouragement to take that first major step of faith. “Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we beg you in Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).

  1. Make every effort by every means to establish them in the faith. Stay with them, ground them in the Scripture, help them gain assurance of their salvation, and get them active in a vital fellowship/church.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Scripture makes it clear that our eternal salvation comes by grace through faith; it does not come from ourselves but is wholly a gift of God (see Eph 2:8). So what does James mean when he asks, “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (Jas 2:14).

 James is saying a faith without accompanying works is no saving faith at all: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (v. 17). Is James contradicting Paul? No.

  Paul is describing true and living faith; James is arguing against a false faith which consists of nothing but spiritually dead intellectual assent (vv. 17, 19, 20, 26)

. . . Faith and good works are both necessary. But one is the root and the other is the fruit.

Not only is holiness the goal of your redemption, it is necessary for your redemption. And as John Piper adds, “All the obedience of believers necessary for final salvation is obedience that comes from faith (1Th 1:3; 2Th 1:11; Gal 5:6; Heb 10:35–36; 11:8). If it does not come from faith it is legalism and gains nothing but deeper condemnation (Ro 9:32).”

 Hundreds of verses in Scripture confirm that growing in holiness is necessary for our salvation. Because holiness is so important to spiritual formation—and for our eternal destiny!—let’s look at some of these verses (emphasis added):

  ➤ The necessity of holiness—“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14).

 ➤ The necessity of doing good—“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned” (Jn 5:28–29).

 ➤ The necessity of obedience—“Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person” (1Jn 2:4).

 ➤ The necessity to forgive others—“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Mt 6:15).

 ➤ The necessity of being free from the love of money—“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Mt 6:24).

 ➤ The necessity of love for God—“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” (1Jn 2:15).

 ➤ The necessity to love others—“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death” (1Jn 3:14).

 ➤ The necessity of being childlike—“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3).

 ➤ The necessity to bridle the tongue—“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless” (Jas 1:26).

 ➤ The necessity of perseverance—“Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory” (Heb 3:6).

 ➤ The necessity of walking in the light—“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1Jn 1:7).

 ➤ The necessity of repentance—“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Ac 3:19).

  While this isn’t an exhaustive list of all relevant verses on the connection between sanctification and salvation, it’s enough to convey the importance Scripture places on the subject.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Part two (the final battle)(pssst, this is better than Star Wars)

you will be deceived if you do not have a spiritual anchor. You see this man Nimrod. The first thing you see about him is his arrogance. The second thing you see about him is his ability, and, here’s the third thing I want you to see about him, his ambition. Look, if you will, in verse 10. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. This is the first man who ever said, “I’m going to be king,” the beginning of his kingdom. He didn’t just want to build a city. He was not just an entrepreneur trying to build a high rise. This was the beginning of his kingdom. He wanted to rule. Now remember what 2 Thessalonians 2:4 says of the coming anti-Christ? He opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God so that he as God is worshiped. So that, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Learn this about the devil. Learn this about the devil. The devil is not against religion. He uses religion. The temptation in the Garden was not for Adam and Eve to fall down. It was to fall up. Ha, ha, he said, “You can be like God. You’ll be like God.” Satan has always wanted to be like God. He always puts that into the hearts and minds of people. As a matter of fact, all of New Age religion is based upon the lie there in Genesis 3. You can be like God. You are your own God. And here was a man, Nimrod, who said, “I want to be worshiped like God. I’m going to exalt myself above God. It’s the spirit of Satan. It’s the spirit that’s in this world today that speaks of the so-called divinity in man. Learn this about Satan. Satan does not want casualties. He wants converts. Satan wants worship.

So you see this Babylonian beast, this Babylonian beast, Nimrod. Now people say, the evolutionist said, “We have come from the beast.” They’ve got it backward, friend. We’re headed toward the beast. I mean, there is coming, there is lurking in the shadows of this world, a beast, the anti-Christ, the man of sin, the son of perdition who is Satan’s superman. He may be alive on planet earth right now.

Now move to the second thing. Not only the Babylonian beast, but I want you to notice the Babylonian builders, these people who said, “We’re going to build this city.” Begin in verse 11 and notice some things chapter 11 rather verse 1. First of all, notice what I’m going to call their disobedience. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land Shinar; and they dwelt there. Now what they did was to say, “We’re going to centralize power. Now God had told them to replenish the earth; if you go back to Genesis 9 after the flood.

Look in Genesis 9:1. And God blessed Noah and his sons and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. God did not tell them to gather up in one place. God’s plan was not for a centralized, one world government. But this is what they wanted to do. They were looking for somehow to centralize and consolidate the governments of this world. A one-world government is what Satan is after. We’re headed toward a one-world government a new world order, it’s being called today, and a new world order, a one-world government will be a disaster. Why?

Because that one world government will be headed up be someone. Power corrupts. Total power totally corrupts. All the liberals today and all of the humanists today, they all have a running romance with big government. Have you noticed that? They all believe in big government. You see. They have failed to understand that freedom is always in direct reverse proportion to the size and the power of government. The more government, the less freedom. There’s coming an enforcer in this world one of these days that’s going to turn this world into a worldwide system, the kingdom of Babylon, the kingdom of anti-Christ.

Now many of today’s liberals are one-worlders first. They are Americans second. Now this is not by chance. This is well thought out. Have you ever heard of the humanists? Do you know who the humanists are? Now don’t get the word humanist and humanitarianism confused. The humanists are a small cadre of highly intellectual and highly motivated persons who are steering this world toward a one-world government. And many of our national and international leaders are avowed card-carrying humanists.

The humanists said back as far as 1966 this, quote, “Internationally what do the humanists purpose? Nationalism rooted, as it is, in arbitrary geographical units must be superseded by a globalism based on the oneness of man. There must be a worldwide organization to which national sovereignty could be relinquished in all international affairs.” That is give up America as a sovereign nation, and be a part of a world nation. Let our boys fight under the banner of the UN, no longer under the command of American commanders. They’re, we’re coming to this one world government and the…

An editorial in the Humanist said this, quote, “If there is one principal upon which all humanists are united, it is the continued commitment to a world order based upon world law.” So what we have to do is lay down our arms set aside our laws, let people go over to Beijing China and other places and tell us how we’re going to raise our children, how we’re going to have families, what we’re going to do, put our troops under the control of somebody or something else, and join up with atheists, bandits, cut throats, and murderers, and all of the rest of it, and have a global village.

Now folks it is coming. It is coming everywhere, monetarily. It is coming organizationally. It is coming militarily. It is coming philosophically. It is coming. It roots back in the same thing that motivated old Nimrod so long ago. I wish I had more time to talk about that, but notice their disobedience, and notice their depravity. Look in verses three and four. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth. That’s exactly what God said to do. Be scattered. Replenish the earth, but they said, “We’re not going to do this.”

What you have here is the beginning of all organized forms of false religion and apostasy. They said, “Let us build a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven.” If you have the King James’ version like I’m reading from, you notice the words whose top the words may reach are italicized. That is, they’re not in the original, only supplied there by the translator to make it read more smoothly. In this case, it doesn’t make it read more smoothly. What it literally says is, “We’re going to build a tower, whose top unto Heaven.” That is, this was, the top of this tower was given to the Heavens. They, it was a place for worship. They would go up on top of these towers to worship their false God. It was dedicated to the worship of the stars. This is the beginning of astrology.

Zodiacs have been found on top of these ancient ziggurats. That’s what these towers were called in Babylon, where they there worshiped the stars. The very name of the place Babel, means gate to God. El is the Hebrew word for God. For example Bethel means the house of God. Israel means prince of God. Emmanuel means God with us. Babel was the gate to God. They said, “This is the Gate to God. We’re going to show people how to get to God.” Of course we know that there’s only one gate to God and his name is Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” But here is new age religion. Learn this about new age religion folks. It ain’t new. It’s one of the mustiest things around. It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden, when Satan first came. And we have a world today that is getting ready for the coming kingdom of anti-Christ and the spirit of anti-Christ is already in the world.

Now this was the beginning of astrology. Are you so foolish as to pick up your newspaper and read the astrological comments concerning you, so they say? You, my friend, are practicing witchcraft when you do that. You say, “Pastor, that makes me angry.” Well come up to me after the service, and apologize, and I’ll forgive you. Now listen to me. Listen to me. I say, listen to me. Astrology is idolatry. The word astrologos, which we get, means astrology. Astra is a star. Logos is the word. It’s the word of the stars. That’s why they call it astrology. You have substituted the word of the stars for the word of God. Rather than getting into the Bible, you’ve gotten into new age religion. The purpose of the stars is to declare the glory of God, not the destiny of man.

Put this in your margin, Isaiah 47. God is speaking about Babylon and Babylonian religion. Isaiah 47:12-15. Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries. Now what he’s doing here, let me say this. He’s showing Babylon that all of her new age religion will not save her. This is a challenge that God has given to Babylon. That had it’s inception here at Babel. Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast labored from they youth. That is, way back to the tower of Babel you’ve been doing this. If so be that thou shall if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.

Now what is God saying? God is saying, “These things are wrong.” Deuteronomy 18, God knew. God knew of the abomination of the Canaanites. God knew of all this new age garbage that was not new way back in that time. And this is what God said in Deuteronomy 18:9 and following. When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abomination of those nations. Now notice God calls it a national abomination. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire. That is they were murdering their babies, sound familiar?… Or he that useth divination… That is they were going to fortunetellers….Or and observer of times… That friend, is astrology…. Or an enchanter or a witch. That’s a channeler. That’s all new age religion, an enchanter, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits… Shirley McLain or anyone else. Or a wizard, or a necromancer. That is contact with the dead. For, listen in verse 12. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. Can’t you read my precious friend? Actually the seedbed of all-Satanic, demonic religion, all false religion, is found in Babylon. It’s the seedbed of all it.

Now Babylon from the outside may seem beautiful, but take your Bibles now. Keep your thumb where we are in Genesis 11, and turn with me to Revelation 17. In case you get you get carried away with new age religion and cultism, listen to Revelation 17. John the apostle has a vision. And there came one of the seven angels, which had the seven vials, and talked with me saying unto me, come hither; and I will show thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters. In the Bible an impure woman is a symbol of false religion. The many waters we’re told speak of peoples, nations, and kingdoms…. With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornications.

Now how can the kings of the earth commit fornication? This is the marriage of church and state. This is a world church and a world state. The kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the world have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. This wine has been bottled and fermented for over 6,000 years. It goes all the way back to the tower of Babel. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and there I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. Seven is the number of perfection. Ten is the number of completeness. The heads speak of wisdom. The horns speak of power.

And the woman… She speaks of false religion…. Was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon here forehead was a name written, (watch it) MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.

Babylon is the mother of all false religion. We heard of the bully of Baghdad, old Sodam Husain, talk about the mother of all Babels. Friend, it’s out of that area comes the all-filthiness of false religion. Mystery, Babylon… MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of saints, and with the blood of martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. It doesn’t mean he thought she was wonderful. He says, “I just stood back, and I could not take it in.” You talk about a classic story of beauty and the beast. Here is the Babylonian mother and the blab, Babylon monster. The Babylonian mother is false religion. The Babylonian monster is the beast, and they come together. Now as she looks outwardly, she’s beautiful, but beneath her smiles is a heart that is wicked, unspeakably wicked. Her hands drip with blood, and her intoxicating wine has been brewing for 6,000 years.

Well go back to Genesis 11. We’ve talked about these people, these that we’ve talked about their disobedience. We’ve talked about their depravity. I want you to see their defiance. Look, if you will, again in verse 3, 4. And they said one to another… Now folks I want to remind you. Listen. We’re not just talking about ancient history. We’re talking about what is happening in our world today. This is history and prophecy at the same time. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top unto Heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.

Now I want you to notice the personal pronouns. There are six times they use pronouns like they, us, and we. Six is the number of man. This is religion with man at the center and man in the circumference. That is humanism and new ageism. Rather than saying, “Our Father which art in Heaven hallowed be Thy name,” they’re saying, “Our brothers who are on the earth, hallowed by our name. Let us make for us a name.” Now their in sheer defiance against God.

look again, if you will, in verse 4. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto Heaven; let us make us a name. And go back to verse 3. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. Now when God builds his church, does he build it of brick or stone? Builds it of stone. Stone is not hand made. The Bible says we’re built up as living stones, but these people took mud, bricks, with their own hands, and they fashioned brick, and then they put that brick together with slime that oozed out of the ground there, there in the plain of Shinar. And there they began to build this high rise to Hell, fashioned from their own wit, their own wisdom, their own ingenuity. And you notice what it, as verse 3 begins, “And they said one to another.” They don’t consult God. What they do is they pool their wickedness, and they pool their ignorance. They have dethroned God. They have enthroned their own intellect.

Now you say, “Well that’s them.” Well, folks we’re still trying to do it with brick and slime, only our slime and brick today are computers. We are traveling down the information superhighway, getting the idea that somehow we are going to build our utopia. And we’ve substituted our own wit and wisdom for God, and we’re trying to build a golden age with minds, and machinery, and money, and it can’t be done.

Now what were they trying to do? They said let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto Heaven. What they’re saying is this, “We’re going to start here and we’re going to build toward Heaven.” Now that is completely, totally, antithetically contradictory to all that God does. What is the difference between manmade religion, new age religion, humanism, and the true salvation that comes from God? Man tries to build from earth to Heaven. True salvation reaches down from Heaven to man. That’s the difference. You could, you could, you could just sum it all up in that. Whether it begins with man and builds toward Heaven, or whether it begins in Heaven and reaches down to man. You see. God moved in mercy by the pitiful plight of simple man, said, “I will go down,” and God became a man to lift us to Heaven. And the Bible says we must be born again. Literally that says in the Greek language we must be born from above, born from above.

Now the new agers say man needs a boost from beneath. God says man needs a birth from above. Here was the Babylonian blunder. They just took their own wit, their own wisdom, their own words. They pooled their ignorance. They pooled their wickedness. They began to make brick and slime to build a tower, and, folks, the world is full of that today. You would be amazed at how many people are new agers, who don’t even know they’re new agers. As a matter of fact, these are not just stupid people or dumb people in the, in the vernacular.

Nesbitt says this, “95% of the readers of the New Age Journal are college educated with average household incomes of 147,500 dollars. New agers represent the most affluent, well-educated, successful segment of the baby boom.” Did you know that many of the fortune 500 companies when they bring the sales agents in, or their personnel in, or their executives in, to give them a sharpening course, do you know who they bring in to lecture? A new ager. It’s an amazing thing.

David Jeremiah reminds us of this, “Corporations spend an estimated four billion per year on new age consultants.” A California business survey of 500 companies found that more than 50% had used consciousness-raising techniques. He mentioned such companies as TRW, Ford Motor Company, AT&T, IBM, and General Motors who have all signed on new age trainers. It’s an old lie repackaged. It is human wit, human ingenuity. It is finding the God, the power within yourself. And it engenders an independence from almighty God. Folks it is here. It is with us.

Now I have talked to you. I have talked to you about the Babylonian beast, and he pictures the anti-Christ that’s going to come. And he may be alive, and well, and in the world today. I’ve talked to you about the Babylonian builders, how they in defiance against God are trying to build a new world order. And it is coming. One day it will be here, and this will be an amalgamation of the new world order and a one-world church. And everybody’ll say, “Isn’t it wonderful.” I’ve talked to you about the Babylonian blunder against the idea that man can lift himself by his own bootstraps, and by his brick, and slime build his tower to Heaven, and in that he inculcates all false religion.

Now I want you to see what I’m going to call the Babylonian burial. I want you to see what’s going to happen to it. You say, “Pastor, I thought you were talking about the coming kingdom of Christ.” I’m getting there. I’m almost there. I want you to notice now beginning in 11:5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. You know in the Bible says in the last days knowledge shall increase, and, friend, we’re seeing it. We are amazed at what is happening, what comes out of the imagination of man. And we’re being told today what man can imagine, man can achieve. And for the first time we’re really believing it. Well, God says in verse 7, “Go to, let us go down.” Now who’s God talking to? This is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in counsel together, and God says, “Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

How did this tower of blunders end in Genesis, and what does it prophesy or what’s going to happen in our day? Well, it climaxed, it ended with the coming down of almighty God to earth. The thing that we’re waiting for is the coming of the Savior. The only hope, the only hope for this world is the coming of Jesus Christ. And when Jesus Christ, the true Christ comes, he is coming to destroy the kingdom of anti-Christ. As I’ve told you before 777 is going to deal with 666. And you can put it down, and be certain there’s coming a time when lawlessness comes to it’s climax that in Heaven God is going to say, “It is time. Let us go down.” Now, not only the coming of the Savior, but the confusion of the speech. Notice again in verse 7. Let us go down, and there confound their language. Now these people had one language at this time. They all, spoke the same language. But God always when he judges, sends confusion into the camp of the enemy. When God’s people pray even in this day if we will pray, we don’t have to go to war against the enemies. God goes to war against the enemies. When we pray, God sends confusion into the camp of the enemies. And so God confounds the speech. They can’t understand one another. They’re building this tower and a man says, “Hand me a brick.” He says, “What did you say?” He says, “What did you say?” “Uh, what did you say?” He says, “What did you say?” And the boss says, “Will you two quit babbling?” And they say, “What did he say?” And nobody understands anything. They whole thing begins to get confused, and it really would be comical. And the Bible says in Psalm 2, “He that sitteth in the Heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision.” And we’re going to see the false unity of the ecumenical movement, and United Nations, and all of this. It’s going to come apart, and then there’s going to be the collapse of the whole system.

And so the Bible says in verses seven, eight and nine rather, “So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of the earth: and they left off to build the city.” And there they set, in the crumble ruins, in the unfinished tower of their high rise to Hell, their tower of blunders. Well, what does this mean to us? Go to Revelation 18, and I’ve got about three minutes to share this with you. Revelation 18.

There are three things I want to lay on your heart. The first, listen here very carefully. Those of you in the balcony, you teenagers listen to me very carefully. The very first word is the word separation. Begin with me, Revelation 18:1. And after these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Now here’s God’s Word to you. Are you listening? Folks on television, are you listening to this? And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

If you’re practicing any kind of the occult, any kind of new age religion, any astrology, any dabbling with witchcraft, get out and get out quick. For God says concerning Babylon, “Her sins have reached unto Heaven.” She’s going to be bring a tower to Heaven. God says, “It’s her sins that have reached to Heaven.” And God hath remembered her iniquities. So the first thing I say to you is separation. Get out. Get clean. Repent. Renounce. Get rid of all of that.

The second thing I want you to see is anticipation. Jesus Christ is coming, and He’s coming soon. Look in chapter 19. After these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

What is happening is this, friend, we need to anticipate the time. The time is coming soon when our Lord is going to step down from glory, and God is going to come down, and He’s going to judge Babylon. So there’s separation, anticipation, and here’s the part I love, jubilation.

Look in 19:5. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were (oh I love this) the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The good news is Jesus has already won the war, we have to do very little, we are not passive believers but faithful soldiers. So rally the troops and rescue the perishing, build up the saints and win the lost.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Lordy, Lordy, Mighty, Mighty

Whenever the bible repeats a word 3 times, really pay attention to whom it is speaking about (or what) you will always find a wealth of information you may have missed before.

Now what we’re going to study today is the story of a colossal and an amazing building project. As a matter of fact this is Satan’s civic masterpiece a great tower that was built by these people back before the flood. It was a high rise, but it was a high rise to Hell. What it was, was a center of world religion and world government. It has great, great prophetic significance for you. If you want to know what’s going on, lay down your newspaper. Pick up your Bible.

Now look, if you will, in Genesis Chapter 10 and verse 8. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: whereof it is said, (here’s a proverb) Even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. Now just underscore that. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel.

Now, let’s go to chapter 11, and read 11:1-9. And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, huh, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto Heaven, literally whose top unto Heaven. “May reach” is supplied by the translator. And let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they began to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore, is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of the earth.

Now what you have here is history and a prophecy, because Genesis is the seedbed of all Bible prophecy, and these stories literally happened. But God records them in the Bible, because they are a preview and a prefiguring of what is to come. And you’ll see very clearly that this man Nimrod is a picture of the beast who is going to come, the anti-Christ who is going to come, and this city that was built, Babel, which was really Babylon as we will see. Is the cradle and the grave of all false religion.

There are two great cities in the Bible. One is Jerusalem, and one is Babylon. Jerusalem is the Holy City. Babylon is the Hellish city. There are two great leaders in the world, Christ and anti-Christ. And there is a battle between Babylon and Jerusalem, Christ and anti-Christ. We’re right in the middle of it. And we dare not be ignorant. Now I want you to see the coming kingdom of Satan, and I want you to see the coming kingdom of Christ.

First of all, I introduce you to someone that I want to call the Babylonian beast, the Babylonian beast. Go back now to chapter 10, and here’s a man named Nimrod. Look, if you will, in verse 8. And Cush begat Nimrod. Now these are people that actually lived back in the dawn of civilization. A man named Cush had a son, and he named his son Nimrod.

Do you know what the name Nimrod literally means? It means let us rebel. This man was a rebel by birth. Let us rebel. Now look again, if you will. And it says here, he was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Do you see that in verse 9, a mighty hunter before the Lord? That doesn’t mean that God just merely saw him do it. But it means that he was in the face of God. As we would say today, “In your face.” That’s what he’s saying to God. He’s not a hunter of animals, not a hunter of deer and antelope. He’s a hunter of the souls of men, and he is a, he is a he is a rebel against almighty God. It speaks of arrogance.

Now put in your margin, right by that, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. And I want you to see how there is coming another Nimrod, in the last days, in the days in which I believe we’re living. And, the apostle Paul is speaking of the coming kingdom of Christ, and he says concerning the coming kingdom of Christ, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come. That is the day of the Lord. That day shall not come, accept there come a falling away first. The word falling away is the word we get our word apostasy from. There’s coming an apostasy first, and the man of sin be revealed.

Now Jesus is the Man of Sorrows. The anti-Christ is the man of sin. The man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Jesus is the Son of God, but there’s coming an apostasy. There is coming a man of sin. He is the son of perdition, which means unmitigated wickedness.

And now let’s see what this man of sin is going to be. Notice in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. It’s one who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God. Now learn what the word anti-Christ means. Anti means against, and it also means instead of. The prefix anti means against, and it means instead of. The anti-Christ will be against the true Christ. He will present himself instead of the true Christ. It’s very important that you understand this. The word anti means against, and it means instead of…. Who opposeth, that is against, and who exalteth himself, that is instead of. Notice this, who, this man of sin who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. And so here is a rebel against the true God way back in Genesis. He is a hunter of souls in the face of God.

Now notice not only his arrogance, but I want you to notice his abilities. You’re back in Genesis 10 now, and look in verse 9. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Underscore the word mighty. Wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. Notice back up in verse 8. And Cush begat Nimrod: and he began to be a mighty one; mighty in verse 8, and mighty twice in verse 9. He is called mighty, mighty, mighty. Now our Lord is holy, holy, holy. But this man is called mighty. That is he is a man don’t, not an ordinary man. Three times it is mentioned by divine inspiration that this rebel in the face of God, this Nimrod, this founder of Babel, the cradle of all false religion is called mighty, mighty, mighty.

Now with that in mind, again 2 Thessalonians 2:9, where the man of sin, the lawless one, the son of perdition is mentioned. Notice how he is described. Notice his might. This is 2 Thessalonians 2:9. It speaks of this man and it says, “Even him.” That is the man of sin. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. Get ready. Get ready.

There is coming to this earth such devilish deception. Jesus said it will be so strong if it were possible Satan would deceive the very elect. Don’t you think that intellect would keep you from being deceived. Don’t you think that you’re good intentions keep you from being deceived. Only the Holy Spirit of God’ll help you to see clearly and straightly in these days in which we live. Satan is coming. He’s going to take a man and put into that man such incredible power. He will be Satan in human flesh, as Jesus Christ was God in human flesh. Listen to that verse. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.

You know and I know people that were in church for years and then they fell away,, quit coming, some stay religious, others went wild. But all have one thing in common, they never saw it coming, when they would be on the outside looking in.

Never say it won’t happen, couldn’t happen to you. They said that once before as well. If you’re not careful it could happen, guard your heart friend, it’s your greatest treasure.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

love you, man

June 12, 2017

It’s love your brother/sister day

The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to “keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters” (13:1). The Greek term used in this verse—philadelphia—means “love of brother or sister,” the affection one has for their family members. In the New Testament it refers to a sense of affection for a fellow Christian.

 Mutual affection is showing the same care and concern for fellow believers that we would show family members. As members of God’s family, we are expected to truly treat one another as siblings in Christ. Are you working to develop the same intimacy with your church family as you would your biological family?

 Here are three mini-habits that help us to develop mutual affection:

  1. Memorize and meditate on Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Ask God to increase your affection for other believers.

  2. Make a list of four brothers and sisters in Christ. Over the next month, select one a week for whom you will perform a special act of kindness. Make note of how this changes your relationship with them.

  3. If you have your own home, set a date once a month to invite a college student, widow, military service member or someone who lives alone to come over for coffee or dinner. If you don’t have a place of your own, make a habit of taking a meal to a shut-in or inviting a lonely church member out to lunch.

Surprise, yes, you actually have to tell brothers’ and sisters’ in the Lord to “love one another”, hard to believe but true.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

good faith

June 10, 2017

What is faith? A common misperception—held even by some Christians—is that faith is believing something without sufficient evidence or reason. Biblical faith, however, is the exact opposite of “blind faith.” As Elton Trueblood said, “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.”

 The most foundational definition of faith in the Bible is found in Hebrews 1:1. Notice the two parts to the definition. To understand faith, we need to understand the meaning of both parts:

  ➤ Confidence in what we hope for—We tend to think of hope as an emotional state that reflects what we would like to happen in the future but are unsure will actually happen. For instance, we may “hope” our favorite sports team will win the championship. Despite our earnest desire, though, we have no assurance they will win.

 In Scripture, though, hope means something entirely different. Hope is a desire for a future outcome that is absolutely certain. Because we trust in God’s promises, we can be completely confident about the outcome. Because we know God can and will do what he says, our hope is a form of knowing. “Hope is faith looking forward.”

 ➤ Assurance about what we do not see—“Seeing is believing.” “I’ll believe it when I see it.” We like to see for ourselves, and there’s a tendency to think that if something can be seen then it’s tangible and real, while what cannot be seen (or experienced by one of our other senses) is less certain or even unknowable.

 In reality, though, we place a great deal of “faith” in what can’t be seen. We can’t see tomorrow, yet has that ever stopped us from making plans in expectation it will come? We have faith that tomorrow will occur because we’ve experienced a lot of “tomorrows” throughout our lives. Our assurance is based on our prior experience.

  Similarly, we have assurance that God will do what we cannot see because we know and trust him. If God tells us something is going to happen, we can have absolute assurance it will actually happen. We have faith in God because he’s proven he’s absolutely trustworthy.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

if you struggle with frequent depression, you should get a medical checkup, since it can be due to physiological causes. Also, you may need personal counsel from a mature Christian who can help you apply Scripture to your situation. Avoid anyone who mingles the Bible with psychology. The joy Paul is exhorting us to is decidedly not the kind of joy the world offers through psychological insights. Over 50 years ago, Martyn Lloyd-Jones commented on this verse, (Philippians 4:4)“… there is perhaps no greater travesty of the gospel of Jesus Christ than psychological teaching which presents itself in Christian terms” (The Life of Peace [Baker], p. 146). It is joy in the Lord, joy that comes from the very life and power of God operating in the believer, not through some supposed insights into your unconscious mind or how your parents treated you.

Every believer must learn to apply the biblical principles I am going to enumerate.

  1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE IN A RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THROUGH SAVING FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

As we saw in chapter 3, where Paul first exhorts us to rejoice in the Lord (3:1), many who claim to be Christians are not relying only upon Christ and His shed blood for salvation, but rather are trusting in themselves (3:2, 4-6). Paul explains how he had to come to the point of counting everything of himself to be a total loss so that he could be found in Christ, not having a righteousness of his own derived from keeping the Law, but rather that which comes from God through faith in Christ. Martyn Lloyd-Jones observed, “There are many people who never know the joy of the Lord because they have failed to see themselves as miserable sinners. The only way to be happy in Christ is to be desperately unhappy without him” (ibid., p. 148).

  1. WALK IN SUBMISSION TO THE SOVEREIGN SPIRIT OF GOD.

In Galatians 5:16 Paul says, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” He goes on to catalog some sins that characterize the flesh. There is a direct correlation between many of those sins and depression. Then Paul lists the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). To walk by the Spirit means to live in moment-by-moment submission to the indwelling Holy Spirit, saying no to self and yes to the Lord. It means to trust in the sufficiency and power of the Spirit because you distrust your own ability (see Prov. 3:5). As we learn to walk by the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, including joy, will grow in our lives.

The words “walk” and “fruit” imply a process, not something instantaneous. If you have spent your life walking in the flesh, it may take some time before you experience steady joy in the Lord. Also, walking in the Spirit is a deliberate process that involves putting self to death and submitting to the sovereign God. This means confronting your anger, because anger usually stems from not submitting to God’s sovereign dealings in your life. A crucified self doesn’t shake its fist in God’s face, saying, “I don’t like what You did to me when I was a child (or, what You’re doing to me right now)!” Anger and depression often go together (Gen. 4:6-7; Jonah 4:1-4). So if you want God’s abiding joy, you’ve got to walk in submission to His sovereign Spirit.

  1. VIEW YOUR TRIALS THROUGH THE LENS OF SCRIPTURE.

Paul was going through some pretty intense trials and could easily have become depressed. Instead, he had abundant joy because he viewed his trials in light of God’s Word. He submitted to God’s sovereignty over his imprisonment (1:12-14), over the preachers who were trying to cause him distress in his imprisonment (1:17), and even over his possible impending execution (1:20). He was living for the gospel, to proclaim Christ in every way (Phil. 1:18). He knew that when he died, he would be with Christ for eternity, so he could write, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (1:21).

Many Christians get depressed because they do not understand God’s purpose in trials or they do not mentally deal with their trials in the light of God’s Word. Often it can start with a simple disappointment–something you hoped would happen didn’t happen. Someone you were counting on let you down. A situation you were hoping and praying for did not come about. If you don’t consciously yield your disappointment to the Lord and thank Him by faith, trusting in His sovereign love, you can slip into depression. Satan often comes to you in a moment of disappointment and tempts you to doubt God’s loving care. Peter tells us to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, casting our cares on Him, and to resist the devil, firm in our faith, in such times of trial (1 Pet. 5:5-11).

  1. DEAL PROPERLY WITH RELATIONAL CONFLICTS.

The verses before and after verse 4 deal with proper relationships. If we have wronged others and have not done all we can to make it right, we will not have joy in the Lord. If we humble ourselves and go to our brother or sister and ask their forgiveness, we will be flooded with God’s joy. It’s no accident that love precedes joy in the list of the fruit of the Spirit.

  1. SING PRAISES TO GOD.

I have not validated it, but I’ve heard that the most frequent command in the Bible is, “Sing!” You may be thinking, “Singing is the last thing I feel like doing when I’m depressed.” Well, where did you ever get the idea that the Christian life is living by our feelings? God doesn’t need to command us to do what we already feel like doing. It’s no accident that the longest book in the Bible is a hymn book. When you’ve feeling down, turn to the Psalms and create your own tunes to the words. Put on some praise music, or get out a hymnal and get alone and begin to sing to the Lord. Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn (Ps. 118) as they went out to Gethsemane (Matt. 26:30). Paul and Silas sang in the Philippian jail (Acts 16:25). “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10).

  1. SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS.

(See Ps. 100:2.) Quite often people who lack joy are not involved in serving Christ. As we’ve seen in Philippians, Paul had great joy even in facing execution because he was living for the gospel (1:12-20). Get your focus off yourself and your problems and on to what God wants you to do for the furtherance of the gospel. There is great joy in seeing others trust Christ as Savior (Luke 15:5-7, 9-10, 32; Acts 8:8; 15:3); and, in seeing them stand firm in the Lord (Phil. 2:2; 1 Thess. 2:19-20; 3:9; 3 John 4). A Christian woman once told me that she had been depressed every day of her life. She had been going to psychologists for years, to no avail. I finally asked her, “What’s your ministry? God has gifted you to serve Him. How are you doing that?” She was dumbfounded. She said, “I’ve never thought about that.” She was consumed with self. If you want joy, get your eyes off yourself and on to how God wants you to serve Him.

  1. FOCUS YOUR MIND DAILY ON THE LORD AND THE THINGS HE HAS PROMISED US IN CHRIST.

This joy is in the Lord and we are in Christ! Daily meditate on the cross of Christ and all the riches that are ours through His death. Think on the fact that you are risen with Him, seated in the heavenlies, with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:3; Col. 3:1-4). Revel in His abundant grace that is greater than all our sins. Marvel at His sovereign grace that chose you before the foundation of the world in Him, that predestined you to adoption as His son or daughter (Eph. 1:4, 5) and that will “keep you from stumbling” and will “make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). The Philippian jailer went from being suicidal to rejoicing greatly because of his salvation (Acts 16:27, 34). How can you be depressed if you are focusing daily on the marvelous grace shown to you in Christ?

  1. LIVE BY FAITH, NOT BY FEELINGS.

The Christian life is a walk of faith, of trusting in things not seen, not of “getting in touch with your feelings.” Peter wrote to Christians going through intense trials, “… though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8). Or, as Paul wrote, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

  1. each morning start the day with your grateful list, this is the real appreciation of the basics; “I’m grateful I have a roof over my head,” and “I’m grateful that I can see and hear, taste and touch,” “I’m grateful Lord for my spouse.” You will find this list will grow longer and longer as you change your focus.

  2. get the bible on cd or on your phone, and stop listening to secular music and stop watching tv shows that glorify living in sin.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com