SEXUAL PURITY PART ELEVEN

January 17, 2019

hand sign

Finally, we must understand that we are not fighting to win the battle against lust. The battle has already been won by Christ. We are trying to walk in the victory that Christ already accomplished. This is important to understand because one of Satan’s greatest tactics is lying. After a failure, he tells a believer many lies: it is impossible to be free from lust and that he or she will never be a man of God or woman of God.

By accepting lies, we get caught in Satan’s trap, and it’s easy to become discouraged, defeated, and bound. Jesus said this in John 8:34-36:

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Christ set us free from slavery to sin, and we must understand and appropriate this to walk in victory. Romans 6:6 says, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.”

On the cross, Christ did not just pay for our sins; He also broke the power of sin. He took our sin nature and crucified it so we no longer would be slaves to it. Yes, we can still submit to our sin nature, but we no longer have to because the power of sin has been broken. Like God delivering the Israelites, he not only took them out of Egypt but destroyed the power of Egypt in the Red Sea. Our deliverer, Christ, did no less. We are no longer slaves to sin. However, like Israel, we can still choose to return to Egypt.

How can we walk in this victory? In Romans 6:11, Paul says, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” The word “count” is an accounting term. This means the debt has been paid, and we are no longer responsible for it. In the same way, Paul says that we are no longer slaves of sin—including our lusts. We owe it no allegiance, and we don’t have to obey its cravings. However, we must mentally accept this reality instead of accepting the lies of the devil and our flesh.

Therefore, when Satan tempts us or makes us feel like we have to fall or that we can’t get back up after falling, we must recognize that it’s all a lie. It’s not true! Christ set us free from sin and now we are slaves of righteousness (Romans 6:18). Our allegiance is now to God.

In my spiritual youth, I didn’t fully understand Christ’s work on the cross and the extent of what he had done for me. Therefore, I often fought without hope. But now, I fight because the victory has already been won—which gives me great confidence. Christ already defeated Satan and my lust (cf. Col 2:13-15). But, I must reckon this as true (Rom 6:11).

This theological reality is important for many reasons. (1) It means if we stumble, we can get back up. We don’t have to accept the lies and condemnation of the devil. Proverbs says the righteous falls seven times and gets back up (Prov 24:16). That’s what separates the righteous from the ungodly. They will not stay down. If you have failed in the past, if you failed today, you can start over now because you died to sin with Christ on the cross. Sin no longer identifies you—your identity is in Christ.

(2) But this doctrine is also essential in maintaining our victory. We are no longer slaves of sin but slaves to righteousness. My debt and allegiance is to God. So, I must strive to use the members of my body as instruments of righteousness leading to holiness (Rom 6:13, 19). First Corinthians 6:19-20 says it this way:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

We have been bought with a price and are now slaves of God. Therefore, we must faithfully serve God in purity and holiness.

We see the importance of this doctrine in Augustine’s walk with God after his conversion. Before Augustine became a Christian, he was very promiscuous. However, at his conversion, everything changed. One day, he ran into a former fling. When he saw her, he turned and ran in the other direction. The lady saw him and was confused. She yelled, “My love! My love! Where are you going? It is I!” He replied, “I know! But it is not I anymore!” and he continued to run away. Augustine recognized this reality—he was not the same. He had been crucified with Christ and he no longer lived—Christ lived within him (Gal 2:20). He was no longer a slave of sin but now a slave of righteousness.

We similarly must reckon this a reality if we are going to walk in victory over lust. We must declare our victory in Christ and walk in it.

Have you declared victory? Or have you declared failure—that you can’t win or be free from bondage to lust? If that is you, then you have believed Satan’s lie instead of Christ’s truth. He who the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). Christ has set you free. Declare your victory and fight to walk in it. Don’t give up until your life represents your position in Christ—free from bondage to sin to serve God.

Reflection

How did Christ break the power of sin over our lives? Why is understanding this reality—our new identity in Christ—so important to walking in victory?

In what ways have you experienced the lies and condemnation of Satan in regards to battling lust?

How should we count or reckon our death to lust and freedom from its slavery a reality as Paul teaches (Rom 6:11)?

What are the primary strategies from God’s Battle Plan for Purity that you feel pressed to implement in your life and/or in mentoring others?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise from Caliste Burt, the surgery went well, they are now waiting to see how she heals up and some swelling goes down.

Pray for Cindy K. just became a believer, living on and off the streets. A nice Christian family has taken her in. what’s remarkable is she said she knew her grandmother was always praying for her and it stopped her from crossing a line.

Bill Warneke, says thanks for praying, he’s still resisting counseling. Chronic pain and depression.

Carl I, going away for college soon. Young Christian, first time away from home, asks that he will stay the course.

Continue to pray for Steve H, and the church finding the right pastor.

SEXUAL PURITY PART EIGHT

January 14, 2019

Senior Couple At Home

THIS COUPLE IS HAPPY AND TOGETHER IN MARRIAGE BECAUSE THEY STARTED OUT THE RIGHT WAY.

Since we consider the Bible to relevant, and God’s inspired word, than we consider the instructions and principles to be applied to how we live today.

Consider what Paul said to Timothy, a young single pastor in Ephesus:

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

Essentially, Paul says that outside of marriage, one’s interactions with the opposite sex should look like a natural brother and sister relationship. In fact, he says it should be identified by “absolute purity.”

Again, most Christian dating relationships follow the pattern of the world. When I was a student, they called it first-base, second-base, third-base, and home. Couples went from holding hands, to kissing, to heavy petting, to sex. Now days it sex on the first date.

However, Scripture presents a very different picture—a familial one. A dating relationship, in many ways, should resemble a sibling relationship. We have forgotten a great principle, dating should be like being with a family person. Friendship, companionship, nothing crossing a boundary.

Once the boundaries of Scripture have been eclipsed, it is often like a slippery slope. First it’s OK to hold hands, then it’s OK to kiss, then it’s OK to cuddle and touch one another, then it’s OK to have sex because eventually you’re going to get married anyway—one reasons. This is a pathway to destruction.

I always encourage couples to declare their boundaries when initially considering dating someone. If that person is not willing to keep those boundaries, then move on. It is a lot harder to pull somebody up, than to pull somebody down. In dating and courtship, it’s important to be equally yoked, especially when it comes to purity.

A Warning about Clothing

In guarding your brother or sister, one of the things that must be considered is clothing. This is especially true for a woman since her body is more alluring than a man’s. That is why in many cultures, it is socially acceptable for a man to have his shirt off and not a woman. It seems that God made the woman’s body that way—it is the more delicate vessel (1 Peter 3:7). Also, this is especially important for women because men are typically more visually stimulated, while women are more emotionally stimulated.

In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul said,

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

This means that a Christian woman should avoid extremes in her clothing. She should not be known for dressing haggardly nor with expensive clothing, as is so common amongst the world. Peter, similarly, said this:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3:3-4

However, this modesty, especially, applies to provocative dress, which can cause others to stumble. It will be very hard for a woman to avoid provocative clothing, as Satan is the ruler of this world (John 12:31), which includes the fashion industry. Sex drives the fashion industry. Shorts and skirts continue to get shorter, tops reveal more cleavage, and pants are tighter. For a woman to dress modestly, she will have to go against the flow and be very strategic and particular in her purchases.

Dressing modestly is important to maintain purity and to protect a dating relationship. As a female, you don’t want to open the door for the enemy into your courtship. Also, you don’t want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your figure. Solomon’s mother said “charm” or “form” is deceitful, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised (Prov 31:30). You should want a man who is primarily attracted to you because of your love and obedience to the Lord, which includes modesty. Be careful of your clothing, as it can be a stumbling block to your brothers, and it will make it harder to stay pure in a courting relationship.

With that said, this is also true for men. Men need to consider their clothing in order to not be a stumbling block to their sisters. Men should be careful of wearing t-shirts that are 3X too small and pants or shirts that are also to tight.

How is your clothing? Could it potentially be a stumbling block to others?

If you are going to win the battle for purity, you must guard members of the opposite sex by treating them as brothers and sisters with all purity and being modest in your dress.

Reflection

What are the common sexual practices of the world in regards to dating/courting?

Do you know the difference between dating and courting?

What type of Christian instruction did you receive in regards to one’s conduct in dating/courtship relationships? What did that instruction include?

How would you apply Paul’s exhortation to treat younger members of the opposite sex as siblings with absolute purity to dating/courting relationships (1 Tim 5:2)?

Do you feel as though Christian brothers and sisters often model the clothing standards of the world in regards to immodesty? How can we better hold one another accountable in regards to dress?

What other questions or thoughts do you have about this section?

In what ways can you pray in response? Take a second to pray as the Lord leads.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember Caliste Burt, her brain surgery is this week.

Bill Warneke, we will be checking up on him this week, chronic pain and depression.

The Perales family, mom, dad and son, all need salvation.

Thank you for your prayers for me I am feeling much better.

CHRISTIAN ZOMBIE THEOLOGY

December 30, 2018

frankenstein

“Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free” (Gal. 5:1).

  First, the believer understands that he has a right to be free in the Lord Jesus because of the finished work of the Cross; then he sees that same work of the Cross as his means to be free.

When we truly have a revulsion of ourselves, we are prepared to rejoice in the blessed fact that we have been crucified with the Lord Jesus—that sin in the flesh was condemned (not forgiven) when He died unto sin, that our whole history as in the flesh closed before the Father in His Son’s death—and that this is our title to be free. I have now a righteous title to have done with myself because I have died unto sin in the Lord Jesus’ death.

To prepare me for this I learn the necessity for death in my own experience, but the death of the Lord Jesus is my title to be free. It is by the appropriation of His death that I reach liberty and newness of life; that death has severed me from all that I was as in fallen Adam. ‘I have been crucified with Christ.’ I am free from myself, and free to have the One who is my Christian life before me.

The Lord Jesus will make it His business to keep us alive and fruitful, if we will make it our business to rely upon Him. There must be no carnal straining, no natural effort; we do not have to keep ourselves alive. Every fear to go down into daily death, every clinging to that which belongs to us, every grasp on our own personal position or ministry, will only hinder the manifestation of His life. It is to be life out of death. Even when our trust in Him brings us into the most helpless and impossible situations, we may rest assured that all will be well, for He is indeed the God of resurrection.

  “For ye died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

Oh, that we would learn that for every temptation the answer is the same, “I’m dead, crucified, how can temptation affect the dead.”

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please remember all the prayer requests from this week

Julian

December 1, 2018

Which calendar shapes your life?
If you’re a student (or a parent) the school calendar has a profound influence on your life. Much of your schedule will revolve around the semesters, spring and summer breaks, and other events that fill the year. Similarly, if you’re a worker your year might revolve around tax day, national holidays or fiscal-year planning.

Throughout history, people have aligned their lives around a communal schedule. For the Hebrews, the calendar centered on the appointed festivals of the Lord (see Lev 23:2), which included the Sabbath, Passover, and the Festival of Weeks, among others. (which also is calendar of all the major events of Christ’s life)

The Christian church followed a similar pattern, centering their calendar on feast days such as Epiphany and Christmas. The Gregorian calendar, the most widely used civil calendar, was even created in 1582 to make scheduling of Easter more consistent. Today, many churches follow the pattern of the Puritans, who believed following the Christian year calendar (also called the liturgical or church calendar) violated their liberty of conscience (many Puritans refused to celebrate any holidays besides the Lord’s Day).

But even if your particular tradition doesn’t follow the Christian calendar, here are two reasons you might want to observe it for your own spiritual benefit:
1. To center our focus on Jesus—Instead of having our calendar focus on national holidays or sports seasons, the Christian calendar shifts our focus to the key events in the life of Jesus.

“The Christian Year is fundamentally a way to sanctify time and define our lives according to the unfolding narrative of redemption by structuring the year around the central redemptive acts of God in the Messiah.”
2. To reorder our spiritual lives—The Christian calendar can serve as a helpful framework for our spiritual disciplines. By ordering our lives around the major seasons of the Christian year, our focus shifts from the temporal to the eternal. Spiritual formation activities, such as prayer and Bible reading, are easier to fit into a calendar that emphasizes Christ.

So there is a topic you may never thought of before in your spiritual walk.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

keep praying for Richard Perales, SR. and JR. his mom says that the changes occuring in them has been incredible.

Housekeeping note, questions, comments, prayer requests, send to our email address please.

Pray for Todd B, severe spinal degeneration.

 

John-Wayne-p15

I’ve mentioned this before but want to revisit the situation. This seems to be a frequent conversation with new folks coming to church. I always ask them where their from, how did they happen to visit us. And this is the gist of the conversation.

I can walk into any bar or tavern. And say; “I’m cheating on my wife, my taxes, my boss, I’ve shot the neighbor’s cat and I just found out my mistress is HIV positive.”

And someone will come over and by me a drink. Or someone will come over and say; “I know what you’re saying.”

But have any failure in a Christian environment and well they shoot horses don’t they.

Mercy, forgiveness, reconciliation, brotherhood, fraternity, grace, support, join AA because you may not get it from church.

Doesn’t seem to happen. It’s seems the membership for church is perfect people getting saved and leading perfect lives. Don’t dare tell them your past, you’ll find yourself not asked for dinner after the Sunday service.

Yet Jesus live and visited with the worst of his day, sinners. He laughed with them, broke bread with them and invited them to know Him better.

How can we expect a body of believers to grow intimate with each other when we hide our past, keep secret our current struggles and shove out anyone that fails?

So by pretending to be perfect we become false. And the brother or sister in Christ is afraid to share their struggles and failures, because on Sunday morning everyone is lying and saying, “all is well” and “I’m just fine.”

We don’t have an actual church plan in place to help the brother or sister to restoration, just condemnation and forced out of fellowship.

There must be a balance in church, yes, the mature believers acknowledging the less mature and their failures. And the saint that falls, needs support not an exodus.

Let’s pray that we as believers are gentler, more forgiving, and willing to acknowledge we are forgiven but still fall short of perfection.

There may be a time for the rod, but we are to quick to use it.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Barbara D, her battle with cancer is taking a great toll.

Pray for Gwen that is struggling financially.

Pray for Lisa M, that she realizes people are more important than numbers

Pray for Karey, a Jehovah Witness member, she seems to realize that she is not a true believer in Christ, but is open to learning more.

Ilene,

October 11, 2018

christ on cross

Well yesterday was about Juan, today I met a brave woman that is a seeker, she was born in Mexico, married the man of her dreams who turned out to be a heroin dealer/user.

The fairy tale marriage quickly turned into a nightmare, after having 3 children, he didn’t want anymore and nor, did he want her to ever bear children again. So he stomped and kick her until breaking her hips and permanently damaging her uterus.

She comes to in the hospital, where he has taken the kids and fled back to Mexico. It takes 15 years before she gets her kids back. Thanks to her new husband a lawyer in International Law. It’s not the law that gets the kids back but his connection.

Reunited with her 3 kids. A new marriage and no drugs. She has been listening to BBN radio (Bible Broadcasting Network) and has become an avid reader of everything I give her. Her spiritual hunger for God is drawing her to read the bible and everyday she has questions about God, Jesus and how to see how everything that has happened in her life brought her to this point.

This weekend she is bring her husband to their first couples bible study and I believe she is just on the cusp of accepting the Lord as Savior.

Pray for Ilene that she will accept Christ and her husband will soon follow.

What a week this has been for meeting new Christians, growing Christians and the spiritually hungry.

God bless from scumlikesuschurch@gmail.com

First to Ms. Elliot, yes you can correct my grammar and thanks for your prayers.

Pray for Virginia M. that the Lord will take her home.

Pray for Gwen, very religious but not a Christian, somedays I think she is ready, only to hit a brick wall. Pray that the right people come into her life and not the wrong ones.

WHERE IS THE LOVE

September 30, 2018

As a pastor it grieves me that someone leaves the church because they felt unforgiven or marginalized within their own home church. Yes, they did something wrong, but where is the love.

It is important to understand the difference between being judgmental and discerning truth from error. In Matt. 7:1, the Lord said, “Do not judge lest you be judged.” Then, in verses 2-5 he warns against trying to correct others without first correcting what is wrong in our own lives. If we deal honestly deal with our own hearts, etc., then we have the responsibility to help others. But there is also a warning in verse 6. He said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine” (vs. 6). How can we know that someone, in their spiritual condition, is like a dog or a pig (i.e., someone who is incapable of appreciating the truth—apathetic, cold, indifferent), unless you judge, discern their character or their spiritual condition?

This passage does not teach that judgments should never be made. In fact, Matthew 7:5 specifically speaks of removing the speck from your brother’s eye. But the Lord’s point is that no one is qualified nor able to do that if they are habitually critical or condemnatory of the specks in someone else’s eye when they themselves have a plank—a hyperbole for effect—in their own eye. Such are not truly interested in righteousness, only in playing spiritual king of the mountain.

So, as in selecting elders and deacons for office (1 Tim. 3), judgment is sometimes needed, but those making the distinctions (krino„, judge, means “to distinguish” and thus “to decide”) must first be certain of their own lives and their motives. We need to ask questions like, Am I doing this to show how much I know? Am I trying to play spiritual king of the mountain? Do I think I am better than they are because I know something they do not know? These are some of the logs that we must remove from our own eyes (hearts). We are not judging people when we discern behavior or beliefs that are clearly unbiblical. For an excellent passage on having a judgmental spirit versus a discerning spirit, read Paul’s teaching on the problem of doubtful or questionable things in Romans 14.

Furthermore when seeking to help others, we must exercise care to discern their spiritual appetites and do what would be appreciated and beneficial. We need to test the waters, so to speak. Ask a question in a non-threatening way to see if they might be open to discussion. “Would you be interested in what the Bible has to say about astrology?” We do this because one should never entrust holy things (what is sacred) to unholy people (dogs; cf. “dogs” in Phil. 3:2) or throw … pearls to pigs. Dogs and pigs were despised in those days. This is one of the reasons the Lord spoke in parables. He did so to hide truth from the indifferent and to reveal it to those who were hungry and prepared.

Finally, remember that the ultimate issue is not seeking to get people to change their behavior, but come to know and believe in Christ. This includes biblical repentance, but in a salvation context, that means recognizing their sinful condition and need and turning from their sources of trust (religion, human will power, cultism, astrology, etc.) to trust in Jesus and His death for their sin. It does not mean cleaning up their lives and then trusting in Christ. Only Christ can change lives in a way that is significant.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Sharon W, respiratory problems

HIS WAY NOT OURS

September 27, 2018

Here is a thought to chew on about who gets saved and who does not and why.

Historic Reformed theology takes the biblical doctrine of divine election seriously. Because of it, Calvinists believe that God had a plan from all eternity to redeem a people for Himself. That plan encompassed only a portion of the human race; it was never God’s intention to save everybody. Remember, given our sin and His justice, God was under no obligation to save anyone. Indeed, He would have been perfectly just if He had consigned all people to eternal damnation, but in His mercy, He chose to save some. If it had been God’s intention to save everybody, then everybody would be saved, but God’s purpose in redemption was to save a remnant of the human race from the wrath they had earned for themselves and justly deserved. These people will receive God’s mercy; all others will receive His justice.

We know that not everyone is going to get saved, what’s hard for our human mind to grasp is that God from the beginning of time knows who will be saved and who will reject His Son.

You hear this all the time when witnessing to non believers, “how could a loving caring God send any body to hell, I just don’t believe in that kind of God.”

Simple answer really, they are not talking about the God of the bible, but a god of their own creation. God doesn’t send anybody to hell, they choose that for themselves. They reject the very plan we rejoice in and celebrate in the life and death of our Savior.

So next time you are talking to an unbeliever, be sure to point out they always have a choice even if it’s the wrong one. There is no universal salvation; there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun. Please don’t forget that and be bold to speak out to those who believe in their own version of god. ( hey I think I smell smoke, might the best answer to those following their own god).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Praise report, Barbara D, her cancer is in remission.

Dave I, prostate cancer in remission

Karla, (awhile back) has new job and found a new church

Prayer works

ATOMIC ROOSTER

September 26, 2018

Voted the number one rock song on an album by leading Rock and Roll Experts, not based on fame, or money, but solely of the merits of what a rock song should be; Death Walks Behind You, by Atomic Rooster. I wish I still had the album.

this is a long devotion so print it out or set aside some time. I found these notes in one of my older bibles, probably when i was in Seminary. I don’t remember the source or where I found the quotes. But it is topic that no person can avoid.

The valley of the shadow of death is the longest valley in the world. It began with Adam and has continued through six thousand years of human history. Men like to postpone that dreadful moment when they must pass through the dark valley, but death underscores each life and refuses to accept the person of any man. Death does not take into account whether we have been profitable or detrimental to society. Every step that we take brings us nearer to the grave, and it is but a matter of time until we must bid farewell to every earthly tie. With all of the wisdom of the medical profession and the use of scientific discoveries, we must agree with the wise preacher of old who said; “For the living know that they shall die” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

The Bible contains much warning about death, speaking as frequently on this subject as it does about any other. In the garden of Eden where death had never entered, Adam and Eve were instructed by God to refrain from the forbidden fruit with the accompanying warning:

In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17).

We know that they did eat; and at the very moment the judgment of God passed upon them, their bodies commenced the process of death and decay. “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:5).

On one page of our Bible we have the genealogy from Adam to Noah and with only one exception, Enoch, the man who walked with God and was translated, the refrain is repeated– “and he died.”

The Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles did not hesitate to declare that death is certain. Noah preached righteousness and the judgment of God. He warned men that if they would not repent, the Lord would destroy them from the face of the earth (Genesis 6:7). Men only mocked at the old preacher’s sermon, and then God struck the whole earth with death and destruction. The divine record has it that the waters prevailed for forty days on the earth until every hill was covered. And then we read:

And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man (Genesis 7:21).

Abraham faced the grim reality of death when he offered Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Though Isaac was spared, a ram died in his stead. Then we read: “And Sarah died” (Genesis 23:2). “And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die” (Deuteronomy 31:14).

Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live” (2 Kings 20:1).

Jeremiah warned Hananiah: “This year thou shalt die” (Jeremiah 28:16).

Ezekiel preached the Word of the Lord: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). “That wicked man shall die in his iniquity” (Ezekiel 33:8).

When Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus, He said: “The beggar died . . . The rich man also died” (Luke 16:22).

When Christ was brought before the multitude, the Jews said: “We have a law, and by our law He ought to die” (John 19:7).

Of Dorcas, Luke writes: “She was sick, and died” (Acts 9:37).

How full the Bible is of the subject of death! We cannot study the life of any Bible character, save Enoch and Elijah, without being reminded that they all died. Life insurance companies become rich simply by pointing out that all men must die, and the agents have little difficulty in selling a policy by merely saying that death may come suddenly and unexpectedly. Any undertaker who conducts a respectable business is assured of a comfortable living with those values that money can buy. Even architects and builders take death into account when they plan a structure. Dr. John Rice tells that when his congregation in Dallas was preparing plans for a new church building the architect insisted on discussing the stairways, for, said he: “One rule we architects try to remember is that every stairway and every bedroom door must be large enough to admit a coffin!”

The Bible speaks of: “The law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

The Apostle Paul says: “We had the sentence of death in ourselves” (2 Corinthians 1:9). “So then death worketh in us” (2 Corinthians 4:12).

The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of men “Who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:15).

There is no escaping death. Try as hard as we can, the rider on the pale horse will pay his visit to each of us. He is blind to all tears and deaf to all prayers and pleadings. He must come to us, for he is sent by appointment. “It is appointed unto men once to die.” It is the judgment of the Almighty, it is by divine appointment. The death-bed, the crepe, the funeral, the grave, and the broken-hearted sighs and tears of the bereaved all tell us that “man dieth.”

The first time that the subject of death is mentioned in the Bible is given as a warning to our first parents. There man in his primitive state was enjoying blissful communion with God:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:16-17).

Adam knew that he was alive, but he was a stranger to the subject of death until he heard this word from the Lord. Now he is on his own. He has a knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. He knows that to obey God will mean continuous and unending life and to disobey will bring the sentence of death. The power of choice and the right to decide is now left with man. However, Satan would not allow the situation to go unchallenged. Though he taunted and tempted Eve he could not force her to eat the fruit. Both she and her husband partook of it by their own choice, and in so doing they incurred the displeasure of the Lord. The warning He gave was plain: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Being holy and righteous in all of His judgments, God could do nothing other than pass the sentence of death. Hence Adam listened to what the consequences of his own wrong-doing had brought upon himself:

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19).

God never acts in judgment nor does He allow anything to come to pass unless there is a just cause. So when He pronounced death upon the human race it was because Adam and Eve had disobeyed God and turned from the truth. Though the warning of the Lord had come in soundness and simplicity man chose to sin, knowing all the while that it meant death. Man cannot plead innocency on the ground of the sovereignty of God. He is appointed to die because he has transgressed the Law of God, and the Lord’s justice in the sentence of death is so undeniable that every mouth is stopped and all the world is guilty before Him. Man can offer no legitimate reason why the death sentence should not have been passed, for:

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4).

Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15).

By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin (Romans 5:12).

So then death worketh in us (2 Corinthians 4:12).

For all have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Every time that death strikes and a loved one is suddenly taken away, it is as if we hear the cachinnation of sin and Satan. Sin plays with man for a time just as a cat plays with a mouse. Sin will allow us to run here and there, to pursue happiness, worldly pleasure and power; but the game of life is brief. In the end sin has tracked down each of us, and each pays with his life. Inasmuch as “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), we search in vain in our efforts to discover the secret of victory over death, for “What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?” (Psalm 89:48).

Death is still in our midst holding the whole world in fear and subjection. The reason men shrink from it is because “the sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians 15:56). Because our nature is sinful and our hearts wicked, death continues to prick us and drive us toward the grave as the goad drives an ox to slaughter. Jesus said that ours is a wicked and an adulterous age. Until Christ comes back with His Church to rule the earth, “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26). Even to the end of the millennium death will hold within its grasp all the wicked dead. Until Satan and all unbelievers are cast into the lake of fire, death will have a vise-like grip upon sinners. But how comforting and consoling for the Christian when he looks for Him, even our blessed Lord Jesus who, when He comes the second time with His own, will subdue all things, even the power of death!

Death does not affect all men in the same way simply because it does not lead all men in the same direction. We realize that here we are assuming that death is not the consummation of all existence. Furthermore we are aware of the fact that there are a great many people in the world today who do not believe in an existing consciousness after death. Only recently I talked with a gentleman who believes that death is the cessation of man’s existence. He compared the death of a man to a leaf falling from a tree in October. Disregarding the positive proof of immortality, we will content ourselves with a brief consideration of one of two courses that death must take.

In one hospital ward two patients may die at exactly the same moment. While the root cause of these deaths may be the same in each case, the dying of one can be something altogether different from the dying of the other. We have seen how that death was the only real satisfaction for sin. It was the only punishment for sin that could satisfy the righteous demands of God. Since all men, who were at one time in the loins of Adam, possess Adam’s fallen nature, it stands that all must die the physical death of the body. However as Abraham Kuyper has said: “In the valley of the shadow of death, the great highway on which people walk divides itself, and continues on one side upward unto eternal life, and on the other with a declining path downward into eternal death.”

We can understand this only as we know something of the true purpose of the death of Jesus Christ. Since sin must be punished by death, Jesus went to the cross and died as the punishment for sin and thus at the same time offered Himself as the satisfaction for sin. Peter declares that “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh” (1 Peter 3:18). Here we are told that Christ was put to death for sins “that He might bring us to God.” Those who fall asleep in the Lord take the upward course to Heaven and to God. Having accepted Jesus Christ as their Sin-Bearer and Savior from sin they are brought to God by virtue of His sacrificial and vicarious death. Believers are able to say: “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6). As Jesus hung dying upon the Cross, He was the true sin-offering for His people. We were, by nature, on the downward course, doomed to be separated from God; but Jesus, by virtue of His death, provided a new destiny. Dr. Harry Rimmer has said, “When Jesus died to change the trend of human thought, He also died to change the road of human history. Through a false philosophy, mankind was pursuing a fatal destiny. The impact of the cross bent human history out of the course in which it was flowing, and directed mankind toward God.” Whenever a true believer dies he is said to have fallen “asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:6), and immediately his soul takes the upward course to be with the Lord.

But what course does death pursue in the case of an unbeliever? We have already stated that the only other course remaining is the declining path into eternal death. Once again we must make an assumption, that of belief in a literal place of endless torment for all who reject the atoning work of Christ when He died on Calvary’s Cross.

Since the death of Christ paid for the believer the punishment of sin, and death to him is a pleasant ascension into the Father’s presence, it follows that the death of the unbeliever is an unpleasant descent away from the presence of God. When the unbeliever gives up the ghost, breathing his last breath, he passes from this world into a spiritual and eternal death and Hell. Both are conscious, but death was forced to pursue a different course for each. Both the rich man and Lazarus died in the story told by our Lord. Lazarus was carried into Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was sent to Hell (Luke 16:19-24).

Dear Reader, where are you? Yes, you are still alive in this world; but remember, death is slowly but surely overtaking you. Soon you must say farewell to every earthly tie and enter into an endless eternity. Since Christ died to bring you to God, it is self-evident that you are far from God, and unprepared and unfit for Heaven. Will you trust the Saviour now? “He that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Terri, as she is facing a momentous decision

Pray for Randy H, heart issues

Pray for Steve C, 66 years old raised in church and won’t go into one for anything. Pray for his salvation.

One of my favorites

September 16, 2018

Pinocchio and the unruly lady

Again unique to a Pentecostal church and for those of you that don’t attend a Pentecostal service you might just read this and think we are all just nuts; well maybe we are.

There was a lady who used to sit on the front pew in every service, Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday evening. Same place same spot. And she would wait for me to start preaching and as soon as I started to preach she would jump up and in the loudest voice start speaking in tongues and then give ‘her’ interpretation.

I asked her husband to please ask her to stop, because she would go on forever and I knew she had real issues with me and you just knew it wasn’t the timing of the Holy Spirit nor really a true message.

Well she wouldn’t quit, the deacons were upset, people in the church were upset and still she continued to do this.

I talked to her and she said she had no control over when the Holy Spirit wanted to move her. (which is not scriptural) I Corinthians 14:32 Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit…

Now I usually preach in series, so you can kind of guess each Sunday where I’m going to go because I give outlines ahead of time so people can study and follow along, and one of the adult bible study groups share the outlines with senior citizen homes and some use them in their home study groups or with shut ins.

So now a theme is developing in her messages in tongues where she’s trying to preach my sermons before I can start. So now the deacons have gone to her and she still won’t stop. I’m about to bring the matter to a head in the service, but I decide to wait one more week and just pray more about it.

So now it’s next Sunday and wham off she goes loud and blustery, I’m about to step down and I can see her husband actually balling up his fists, he’s going to literally fight me over this. (Pastoring is so much fun).

When over in the next section about two pews back out steps the oldest, sweetest woman in the church. You know the type, the spiritual grandmother to everyone.

She steps up front, reaches up and pinches the lady’s nose shut. Our self-declared prophet opens her eyes expecting to see me and slap me and instead sees dear sister Ellen, who stills has a hold of her nose, and with this nose hold forces said prophet to set down. Sister Ellen leans in and whispers something to our out of control prophet; and man the color that comes to her face.

Next Sunday, no interruptions, no displays of hysterics, nothing the whole congregation and I are pleasantly surprised.

That Sunday as I’m shaking hands while everyone is leaving, sister Ellen comes up last and I stopped her and said; “just what did you say to our little trouble maker?”

This dear old saint and spiritual grandmother to half the church looks me in the eye and with the straightest face said; “I told her if she didn’t start behaving and respecting you I was going to kick her boney butt out the door.”

It was I all I could do to not just burst out laughing.

Man, you just have to love your flock, all of them, pastoring what a great gig.

God bless

Special prayers for ‘k’ we are praying for your son.

Pray for Maureen Lindner, shingles on her leg, she is in misery

Send your prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com