THE PATH OF PATIENCE

July 16, 2018

  “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them who trust in him shall be desolate” (Ps. 34:22).

  We can only trust our Father to the degree that we know Him. And He only reveals Himself to us by His means. That is by the Word, by the Spirit, and hence by the Son—in that sequence.

Could it be possible that God would so love an individual as to give His only Son to die for him and still love him to the extent of following him with the pleadings and drawings of His grace until He has won that soul into His own family and created him anew by the impartation of His own divine nature, and then be careless as to what becomes of the one He has thus given His all to procure?

A life of patience intervenes between the day of illumination and the day of glorification. I am not to count on a path of pleasure—a path of ease—a path of prosperity—on being more distinguished tomorrow than today; but I am to count on a path of patience. Yes, there is lessons to be learned in order to have companionship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let my circumstances be what they may, if I can see them ordered for me unfailingly by One in whom infinite wisdom, power, and goodness combine, and whose love toward me I am assured of, my restlessness is gone, my will subjected to that other will in which I can but acquiesce and delight..

We are called to fellowship with God, and fellowship means common happiness, common thoughts, common trust. The Father’s delight is in His Son; and we have fellowship with Him in that. The Son’s delight is in the Father, and we have fellowship with Him in that. So our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus, Christ.

  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5, 6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Congrats to Jamal G, our bible give away winner and the answer was 49,897 refugees leaving Babylon in the first return under King Cyrus.

Prayer requests, comments and questions to the email address.

BOW THE KNEE

June 14, 2018

BOW THE KNEE

You may think I live in a cave, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard this song. What a great song.

Ron Hamilton

What a privilege to come into God’s presence,
Just to linger with the One who set me free.
As I lift my eyes and see His awesome glory,
I remember who He is and bow the knee.

Bow the knee, bow the knee,
He is King of all the ages, bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him, all adore Him.
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.

In His hand He holds the power of creation.
With His voice He spoke, and all things came to be.
Yet He hears each simple prayer I bring before Him
When I humbly seek His face and bow the knee.

Bow the knee, bow the knee,
He is King of all the ages, bow the knee!
God alone on His throne,
See Him high and lifted up and bow the knee!
Kneel before Him, all adore Him.
As you live to love Him more, bow the knee.

  “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).

  Personal knowledge of and fellowship with our risen Lord Jesus is counter-balanced by personal knowledge of and fellowship in the death of the Cross. The principle of balance prevents our slipping past the Cross and pushing into His presence.

  “Where do you dwell? ‘Come and see. They came. . . and abode with Him’ (John 1:39). The highest satisfaction He can have is that we should be at home with Himself. He has removed the distance from His own side.

  “If you believe that, you say, I will approach Him. That is one thing. The next thing is, His love is so great He delights to have your company. It is not that you will feel yourself out of place there—you will be there in all the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our Father delights in having us with Himself. Love yearns to satisfy itself about me. It is not only that I can go in, but a much greater thing—my Father, in all His majesty and glory, can come out! All is equipoised. Not only have I entree, but I am shaped to the grandeur of the scene, conformed to the glory of God. Not admitted like a stranger, but changed into the same image; not to equality but similarity; transformed into moral correspondence.

  “If we are not with Him where He is, we cannot be for Him where He is not. We must be inside the veil to be outside the camp.”

  “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Heb. 10:22).

 

  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).

  His love is mine when I know what He did for me; my love is His when I know who He is to me—He who is Love, is my Life. He loved, and died; that I might live, and love. “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (S.S. 6:3).

  “My Father, in His grace, has come in and ended my history in the flesh, by the Cross, and now by the Spirit I am brought into association with His Son at His own right hand in heaven.

  “The Lord Jesus wins my heart in His humiliation; He satisfies it in His glory. A won heart is not necessarily a satisfied heart. But if a heart is truly won by the Lord Jesus it never will be satisfied without Him. No heart that is won is ever satisfied but in the company of the One who won it. Absence does not ‘make the heart grow fonder’! You only discover in absence what you have gained in presence.”

  “We talk of difficulties and perplexities. How little the heart is really in concert, in simple concert with the Lord Jesus! He has gone up to the right hand of the Father in greater power than ever, and He is using the elevation that He has gone to, to effect deliverance for me from all things that would break fellowship between Him and me. And He uses His Word to keep me from all that would interfere with that blessed communion.”

  “Thy Word have I hidden in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11).

The practice of contemplation, one thought, oh how he loves me. We can never think about it to much, think about that love the next time you are tempted.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

ADULT TOPIC, CAUTION, READ ONLY IF YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE TOPIC.

THERE ARE NO PICTURES OR GRAPHIC DETAILS.

WARNING ADULT SUBJECT

Memorial day,

Every 98 seconds, an American is being sexually assaulted.

A government watchdog suggested that Congress might want to prohibit the Defense Department from spending money on Afghan military units whose members sexually abuse children or commit other human rights violations including the sexual abuse of our own American Soldiers. But the Pentagon disagreed with that idea, saying such incidents must be weighed against U.S. national security interests. (REALLY!!!) That attitude will never help soldiers come forward to tell their story because it’s at odds with ‘national interests.’

While in military service 1.5% of men reported being raped by Allied Troops while in the showers in forward operating combat zones. The figure in reality is much higher. Custom knife makers have been making neck knives to especially be worn while showering. Both to defend but also to mark the offenders so they can be challenged in a military court or more practical, shot while out on the next patrol.

The instructions are to slash the face and hands, leave a tell-tale mark. Problem is 99% of the men attacked don’t report it, especially if they were raped.

Hey, I’m a man, I’m supposed to be a lean mean green fighting machine. It’s hard for a man to admit something like that happened. Don’t let anyone tell you keep it to yourself, or, time is a great healer.

40% of women in the military report some form of sexual abuse, from groping, hazing, lewd comments, to physical assault.  Another reason not to have women in the military (in combat areas especially) (my opinion only).

13% of all men have reported the same thing.

What happened to the few, the proud, the Marines.

When I was in the military I saw 1 female in uniform, she was a major, a psychiatrist. Never saw women in the ranks. Never had one driving a truck with me or toting a gun out in the jungle. Now granted we still rode horses and shot bolt action guns (kidding) but it was a very long time.

Different jungle for me, Nicaragua, El Salvador, the Banana Republics. For me we were told if you end up in prison down there kill yourself immediately. We all carried several knives, two single shot pistols as well as the usual weapons. We never all slept at the same time, two up 5 down, hypervigilance. Our biggest problem was money. Living in a place where bribes were 3 times larger than your annual salary. There was no loyalty.

So on this Memorial day, I’m encouraging soldiers to step up, speak out, sell your story (repeat until someone listens). Find someone to help you tell it all. Lay aside the self-blame. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed. You’re not less of a man for telling the truth about what happened. Women, the court experience can be worse than the event. You will be pictured as a slut, asking for it. I’m sorry, that’s all I can say, it’s not right. But hang tough. Take another beating, this time in court. But break the S.O.B. that did this to you.  As a soldier I apologize for what happened. A pastor might tell you vengeance is the Lord’s. well as a pastor, the court system is a part of God’s system. We won’t even go into the problems with the court. But it is what it is. By submitting to the law, you are submitting to God.

As our society further decays it is only going to get worse.

Changing the venue, sexual abuse here in the church, first thing, notice how high the numbers are that are being reported. It’s still to big a risk, to much shame in the military for men and woman to come forward. The stakes are higher while being in the military. You can lose your entire military career, or never be promoted, driven out silently.

In church, you just change churches. (I’m not making light of the situation) both are horrible events. But the problems are vastly different in the environment where the abuse happens. Because the systems are different, civilian world is an open system, whereas the military is a closed system.

Let’s turn to the church world

  • Evangelicals are initially more skeptical of media reports, even well-documented ones, than are members of the population at large—even when such reports come accompanied by significant evidence and documentation. It appears that we are more likely to go with the legal system’s “innocent until proven guilty” rule of thumb than the Bible’s “at the mouth of three witnesses let a thing be established” guideline. Nevertheless, when journalists continue to provide evidence, evangelicals are slowly persuaded.

  • That means often we believe the high-profile person who says “I didn’t do it” over the less powerful person saying, “You did this. And I have nothing to gain and everything to lose by bringing it up.”

  • When #MeToo initially went viral many Christians assumed the church was ahead of the culture in terms of morality. But it just took longer for the church stories to break. #ChurchToo followed with many stories about abuses of power beneath the steeple.

  • Some have suggested that a key problem with sexual harassment accusations is that the lines are gray, and people have misunderstood simple flirting—making a big deal out of nothing. But some solid Barna research contradicts such thinking. People, it turns out, are pretty clear about what constitutes crossing the line.

Hey, in my marriage it was simple, don’t look, don’t touch, don’t even think about it.

 Americans say that sexual harassment is most often about being touched or groped (women: 96%, men: 86%) or being forced to do something sexual (women: 91%, men: 83%). The list encompasses more than these extremes, however; it also includes someone touching themselves intentionally or masturbating in front of an unwilling witness (women: 89%, men: 76%); making sexual comments about someone’s looks or body (women: 86%, men: 70%); and sharing intimate photos or videos of someone without permission (women: 85%, men: 71%).

  • Christians who provide well-researched, investigated reports on allegations of sexual harassment and abuse are doing holy work, bringing darkness to light. Often public accountability is the only way to keep powerful people honest. Even church boards, seeking to reduce negative publicity, are often complicit in cover-ups.

  • There are a lot more people who get harassed and abused and finally come forward than there are who get falsely accused. So while we must take both seriously, we must also recognize our tendency to disbelieve the powerless.

  • If someone’s behavior is illegal (e.g., rape, child porn), the church has an obligation to more than deal with it internally; they must report it to the police. So those of us in leadership need to be familiar with our states’ laws. Many mental-health professionals believe that the power differential is so significant in minister with parishioner, physician with patient, and counselor with client relationships that there is no such thing as “consent.” That being the case, words such as “affair” have no room in our vocabulary for describing such situations.

  • When calling for an independent investigation, we need to look for ways that even a so-called independent investigation can leave the researcher beholden to the one(s) paying the bills. Such ties can create a conflict of interest—which can lead to accusations of cover-ups. So we must aim for fuller transparency and accountability.

  • When people confide in us their stories, we must avoid victim-blaming. One way to do so: ask super open-ended questions such as “What seemed the best course of action to you and why?” rather than “Why didn’t you call the police immediately?” Our questions can inflict more pain if we aren’t careful.

  • It is not enough to call for resignation when a leader has harmed a parishioner. And a verbal apology is not enough, either. Healing involves also making reparations such as taking full responsibility via rhetoric and paying for victims’ counseling. (When Zaccheus repented of ripping people off, he did more than apologize. He paid back his victims more than they had lost through his thievery. See Luke 19.)

Paul called on the Ephesians to expose the deeds of darkness Eph. 5:11). If you know of abuse happening—whether it’s like a David with a Bathsheba or a Potiphar’s wife with a Joseph—do something. Tell someone! The church of all places should be the best place in the world for victims and victimizers alike to encounter both mercy and justice.

Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. (Galations 6:9)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

The Worldly Kingdom

May 27, 2018

Well you get to read my Sunday Sermon.

The Kingdom of this World.

  1. The Danger of Passivity

The very first danger that I want to warn you of is the danger of passivity—the danger of passivity—that is, feeling that you don’t have to do anything—feeling secure, not really being aware of the devil, of his kingdom, and this king of terrors.

Now, you do need to be informed. You cannot afford the luxury of being passive. You need to understand that, as a Christian, you’ve been born again; you are a member of the Kingdom of Heaven; you are a citizen of another Kingdom; and, while you live and dwell here on Earth, you are dwelling in hostile territory. We are citizens of Heaven, but we live in Hell’s headquarters.

Now, let me give you a verse that points that out in the Book of the Revelation; you may just want to put this in the margin. In Revelation 2:13, Jesus was speaking to that church at Pergamos. And, this is what Jesus said to that church, to encourage them: “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat”—s-e-a-t—”is” (Revelation 2:13). That literally means, “where Satan’s throne is.” Now, Jesus said, “I know that you love me, but I also know that you dwell where Satan’s throne is.” You see, the Kingdom of God has a King, and the kingdom of evil has a king: his satanic majesty, the devil. And, Jesus very clearly called the devil, in John 14:30, “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). Jesus said that about him. He is the prince of this world. He is the dark prince.

Now, notice, in verses 11, 12: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus” (Ezekiel 28:11-12). Now, you say, “Pastor, is this scripture directed to the king of Tyrus?” Yes and no. It was directed not only to the king of Tyrus, but it was directed through the king of Tyrus, to the power behind the throne. The king of Tyrus was a wicked, demonic, demon- infested, devil-inspired, malicious, vile, corrupt, and violent king. But now, our Lord speaks to the power behind his throne—the devil himself. It’s very obvious that, from the context, our Lord is speaking, not merely to the king of Tyrus, but to Satan, who was behind the king of Tyrus.

Now, this is not unusual. Before, in the Bible, we have seen the Lord address the devil through an individual. For example, Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me” (Matthew 16:23). Now, Jesus was talking to Peter, but He was really talking through Peter, right on to the devil, who had motivated Peter to say what he had said. In the Garden of Eden, the serpent was used of the devil. And, the devil took an animal, a serpent, and used the serpent to defile and to deceive Adam and Eve. So, God, when He addressed the serpent, was really speaking to the power behind the serpent, to the devil himself.

Now, his reign of terror. The king of Tyrus had a reign of terror that was energized by the devil. Now, I want you to notice how he is described here, in this passage of Scripture. Notice, in verse 12: “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Obviously, you know that was not a human king; certainly not the king of Tyrus: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God;”—the king of Tyrus was never in the Garden of Eden—”every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold” (Ezekiel 28:12-13). You see, here is a creature that is described as being scintillatingly brilliant, dazzling in his beauty, surpassing in beauty, and superlative in wisdom. Isaiah tells us that his name was Lucifer. Lucifer literally means, “light-bearer.”

And then, the Bible says that he had pipes in him. Notice the last part of verse 13: “The workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created” (Ezekiel 28:13). Now, Bible expositors have sometimes said, “Could it be that this man—this being, rather—was a master musician, that music resided in him, and when he spoke, when he expressed himself, it was like a great vast pipe organ speaking, that there was melody that fell from his lips?”

And, he dwelt in a jeweled city of rare mineral beauty. Does that remind you of anything? One day, the saints are going to dwell in a city just like that. The Bible says he was upon the Holy Mountain. Now, this certainly doesn’t mean the king of Tyrus; he was not like this. What does a mountain, a Holy Mountain, stand for, in Bible prophecy and typology? The Mount of God stands for the government of God; the mountain stands for the authority of God. This one had something to do with the government of God, the authority of God.

Many believe that he was the prime minister of Heaven. He is called, in this same passage, the “cherub that covereth” (Ezekiel 28:14). The word covereth means that he spreads forth his wings. That is, he was there as the prime minister of God; there, before the throne of God; there, beholding the glory of God, spreading out his wings there. He was a cherub; that is the highest class of angels.

Over in verse 18, it mentions his sanctuaries; notice, here, “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries” (Ezekiel 28:18). This means that he evidently had a priesthood, that he received the worship of other creatures, and passed it on to the throne as an angelic priest, spreading out his wings there, to the throne. We can only begin to wonder what all of this cryptic language means. We can see glimmers and facets that here was a person highly, highly exalted.

But now, I want to tell you something, folks: In all that we said about him, I don’t want you to make a tragic mistake that some people make when they consider the devil. Have you ever played the game of antonyms? Do you know what a synonym is? A word, a different word, but it has the same meaning as the first word, right? Now, an antonym is an opposite word. All right? Let’s play the game of antonyms. I’ll mention a word; you give me the opposite word, okay?

“Up” (congregation: “down”). Good. What a smart congregation! All right. “Backward” (congregation: “forward”). “Left” (congregation: “right”). “God” (congregation: “Satan”). Satan? You were wrong. Now, that’s the mistake that many of us make. Don’t ever think of Satan as the opposite of God. You see, God has no opposites. God has no antonyms; and God has no synonyms. There is nothing like God to compare God with. And, Satan is not the opposite of God.

So many people have the idea that over here is the kingdom of Satan and over here is the Kingdom of God, and that, somehow, these are polarized opposites, equal opposites. They are not—they are not. God is God, and Satan is a created being. I want you to understand that. And, as a created being, he is subject to Almighty God. And, you need to understand this. Now, he is great; but notice, he was created: “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created” (Ezekiel 28:15). Now, all I have done is to try and show you of the greatness, something of the majesty, that was inherently his.

  1. The Danger of Pride

But, I want you to notice something else in dealing with the devil. Number one: Beware of passivity. Beware of acting as if the devil doesn’t exist, or that he is of no consequence. But no, my dear friend, he is a person of great, great, great, great, magnitude and consequence. And, he has an effect on your life, like it or not. You cannot afford to be ignorant; you cannot afford to be passive. Secondly, in dealing with the devil, I want you to also beware of pride.

Now, it was pride that made the devil the devil. Continue to read here, in verse 15: “Thou wast perfect…”—speaking to the king of Tyrus; actually, the power behind the throne, the devil himself—”Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise”—underscore that phrase, “by the multitude of thy merchandise”—”they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground” (Ezekiel 28:15-17). The Bible says, “[He that] exalteth himself shall be abased” (Luke 14:11), and, certainly, this has been fulfilled in Lucifer himself. Now, Lucifer, the son of the morning, became Satan, the father of the night. He became a fallen angel, a fallen spirit-being, through the sin of pride.

Now, we don’t have to guess about that; the Bible makes it very clear to us that it was the sin of pride. First Timothy 3:6: God gives instructions for the qualifications of a minister, and one of these is that he “not [be] a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). It doesn’t mean that the devil will condemn him; it means that the same thing that happened to the devil will happen to him—that it was pride that made the devil the devil.

Now, what happened is this: that the devil was handling holy things, and it got to him. Merchandise is that which passes through our hands. Notice in verse 16: “By the multitude of thy merchandise” (Ezekiel 28:16). Now, here was a person who made merchandise his office. And, I want to warn every young preacher-boy who’s listening to me, every Sunday School teacher, every child of God, to beware when God blesses you—when God anoints you, when God uses you—that you don’t make merchandise of your office.

“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). Now, it was pride that made the devil the devil—not only because of his merchandise, but because of his inherent beauty. Notice verse 17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17). His brightness and his beauty brought him down. His pride brought him down.

Now, let me say this: that his beauty and his brightness are corrupted, but traces are still there. So, when you consider the devil, and think about the devil, don’t think of him primarily as some scaly monster with hooves and a horn. No, the Bible describes him, strangely enough, not as a repulsive monster—though he is one; but the Bible says he has the ability to transform himself and his ministers as angels of light. Listen to this scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:14, 15. The Apostle Paul is warning about the seductiveness of false apostles. My dear friend, let me say, that when you look for the devil, never fail to look in the pulpit.

I was preaching one time, and a little boy came up to me, after the service, and said, “Pastor, when you were up there preaching, I could see the devil, just as plain.”

But, in all seriousness, here’s what the Apostle Paul says, speaking of false apostles—and he said, in 2 Corinthians 11:14: “And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Ministers of righteousness who are truly ministers of Satan.

You see, Satan has always been able to deceive. He still has his beauty, but it is a blemished beauty. He still has his wisdom, but it is a warped wisdom. Let me tell you, let me describe the devil, if I can describe the devil, for you: He is brilliantly stupid, hideously beautiful. Have you got that? Brilliantly stupid. Now, when you think about it, the devil’s a knucklehead. I mean, he’d have to be to be the devil, wouldn’t he? I mean, to think about it, that he thinks that he can overthrow God! That is unmitigated stupidity. And yet, when the Bible describes the nefarious working of Satan, it does it in these words: “more subtil than any beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1). Angel of light, the wiles of the devil, the snares of the devil, the devices of the devil; wisdom, but wisdom corrupted.

You know that many people who have mental problems sometimes are cunningly wise, but yet so far from being at home base mentally. This is what has happened to Satan. He is brilliantly stupid, hideously beautiful; and you see, dear friend, there are signs of that beauty that remain. I am convinced that the devil works through some of the world’s best music, some of the world’s best light creations, some of the world’s best literature. Don’t just look for the devil in the bowery or in the slums. You’ll find him in the finest universities; you’ll find him in the art galleries; you will find him in the halls of learning; and you’ll find him, sometimes, in the pulpits, as he transforms his ministers as angels of light. But, what was it that brought him down? It was pride!

Now listen, when you allow pride in your heart, when I allow pride in my life, I become in league with the devil, more than any other way. There is nothing that makes us more untouchable by Satan than a genuine humility—a genuine humility. Pride is the devil’s stock-in-trade. And, the Apostle Paul warned: When you have a minister, make sure that he is seasoned, that he knows God, lest being a novice, he be lifted up with pride and come under the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6). The devil knows how powerful the tool of pride is. How did he get Eve to fall in the Garden? It wasn’t a temptation to fall down; it was a temptation to fall up—not to be ungodly, but to be godly. “Do this; you’ll be like God—only, just do it my way.” And, the temptation to her was pride. And, to every mother’s child since then, it is the temptation of pride.

III. The Danger of Presumption

Now, there’s a third thing I want you to be aware of, in dealing with the devil. Beware of passivity; beware of pride; and beware of presumption. Beware of presumption.

So many times, we have the idea, when we sing, “Oh, victory in Jesus!” and, when we hear who Jesus is, and what He’s done for us, that, evidently, the devil has been so incapacitated, so demolished, so diminished, that we just simply are going to steamroll over him. And, my friend, I want you to see something of the devilish power that still resides in him.

Again, I remind you that Jesus said, in John 14:30, that Satan is “the prince of this world” (John 14:30). And, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Apostle Paul called him “the god of this world”—little “g”: “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Apostle Paul, when describing the nefarious kingdom of darkness, said, in Ephesians 6:12, he spoke of “the rulers of the darkness”; he spoke of the principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Now, the devil is commander-in-chief of vast numbers of spirit-beings called demons, who are in full sympathy with him, who rebelled with him, and do his bidding.

I’ve said that you will deal with the devil, but I said maybe not directly. As a matter of fact, the devil is not omnipresent. He can’t be everywhere at the same time, as the Holy Spirit of God. But, he has myriads—multitudes—of demons. We talk about, “We’ve been wrestling with the devil all day.” Maybe we’re bragging a little; probably, a puny demon could handle most folks. But, my dear friend, you do come in contact with him. And, he is in control of the kingdoms of this world. He offered those kingdoms to Jesus, and Jesus refused them; but Jesus did not rebut his right to offer them, for he, Satan, said, “All of them have been delivered to me” (Luke 4:6). Jesus did not challenge Satan’s charge, or Satan’s statement; but Jesus simply refused, and He won the kingdom back by His death on the cross. But, He did not deny Satan’s right to give these kingdoms.

Now, Satan is known for a multitude of iniquities. Notice, in verse 18: “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuary by the multitude of thine iniquities” (Ezekiel 28:18). Notice, in verse 16, he’s known for his violence: “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence” (Ezekiel 28:16). My dear friend, Martin Luther, who wrote that great grand hymn—one of the grandest I believe has ever been written, —”A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” said of Satan, and he would say to us, of Satan:

His craft and power are great,

And armed with cruel hate,

On earth is not his equal (Martin Luther).

I hear people today talking flippantly, casually, sarcastically, about Satan, and I think Satan is sitting over in the corner smiling, when they do that. Acts 10:38: the Bible speaks of those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Luke 13:16, speaks of those: a woman, whom Satan has bound (Luke 13:16). Second Corinthians 12:7—even the Apostle Paul spoke of a “messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Corinthians 12:7). The King of Tyrus still has a reign of terror: subversion, perversion, diversion. He wants to divide, to depress, to destroy. Depression, oppression, possession. Satan, sin and suffering are a trinity of terrors that are inseparable: Satan, sin and suffering.

Now, I don’t want to frighten you, “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). But, I do want to warn you not to be presumptuous. If you’re presumptuous, you’re going down. Beware of passivity; you’re going to be involved. Beware of pride; you’ll get over in the devil’s territory. Beware of presumption, as thinking that he is just simply a piece of cake, and that there is no struggle with the powers of darkness.

  1. The Danger of Pessimism

One last thing I want to say, and that is to beware of pessimism. Beware of pessimism. Don’t get the idea that, somehow, Satan may win, or that things are going to get so bad or so terrible that everything is just going to go wrong. I’ve said before, and I want to say again: There is no panic in Heaven. The Holy Trinity never meets in emergency session.

Notice what God said in Ezekiel, so long ago: “It’s going to happen.” 28:17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:”—now, watch this—”I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:17-18). When Satan said, “I will ascend,” Jesus said, “I will descend.” And, Jesus has conquered Satan at Calvary. And, the Bible says, in Hebrews 2:14, that He destroyed “him that had the power of death” (Hebrews 2:14). And in Greek the word is katargese it is the word that is used there, and it doesn’t mean, “to obliterate”; it means, “to make of no effect.”

When Jesus Christ was on the cross, as I preached a few Sundays ago, the demons of Hell were there. They had a holiday, when Jesus was on the cross; they pointed at Him, and they said, “He’s finished.” But, they were wrong. He wasn’t finished; it was finished. The plan of salvation was finished. And, here’s what Jesus did on that cross: Colossians 2:15—the Bible says, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he”—Jesus – “made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). In what? In His death on the cross. What has happened to Satan is he has been spoiled; that means he’s been stripped. And then, he has been shamed; He made a show of them openly. And then, he has been subdued, “triumphing over them.” Every time you think of Satan, I want you to think of someone who has been stripped, shamed, and subdued.

Now, do not be presumptuous. If you get yourself out of God’s protection, the devil can harm you.

And, dear friend, as long as you abide in Christ, you don’t have to worry about Satan. “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Satan has been stripped, shamed, subdued; he has been vanquished, but he’s not vanished. He is present, but he is not prevailing. First John 4:4: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Now, Jesus, at the cross, overcame Satan.

But, wait a minute. Is Satan going to continue his reign of terror forever? No. One of these days, the King of kings, the Lord Jesus, is going to be enthroned, and Satan is going to be cast into Hell. Look at verse 19: “All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:19). That means, “Never are you going to be in power; never, anymore, are you going to have a reign of terror in the world.”

Let me show you the counterpart of that; and this is one of the greatest blessings in the Bible,—Isaiah 14—and look at verse 13. Again, Isaiah 14 deals with the demise of Satan. And, it talks about how Satan has exalted himself, and lifted himself up. But, notice what God says He is going to do to Satan: “Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

And, notice what has happened to him, what God says to him, in verse 15: “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:15). My friend, Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels; and, notice verse 16: “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee,”—that is, they are just going to squint in unbelief—”and consider thee,”—they’re going to stroke their chins—”saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:16- 17).

God is going to bring the end of created intelligences of the universe. And, when Jesus Christ, the King of kings, is finally enthroned and glorified, and Satan is finally put in his place in the lowest Hell, our great God is going to say, “Come over here, now, and look; look at it. You see him? Do you see him down there, ignominiously groveling? Do you see him like a worm on hot coals? Do you see this highest of a high, who’s been brought to the lowest of the low?” And, you’re going say, “You mean, that’s him? That’s the devil? That’s this mighty one? That’s the cherub? That’s the one who stretched his wings before the throne? That’s the one who was full of wisdom? That’s the one who was surpassing in glory and beauty? That was the one who handled the merchandise of Heaven? That is him? He’s the one that made the world a wilderness?”

I’ll tell you what else is going to happen: You’re going to find folks just like us—just like him, like me, like you—and, you know where we’re going to be? We’re going to be just like Jesus—just like Jesus, made like Christ. You cannot imagine the glory. Now, you get this, my dear friend, and get it big, and get it plain, and get it straight: You are going to have greater glory in Heaven than Satan had before he fell—greater glory in Heaven than Satan had before he fell—because you will be like Jesus Christ. And, there you are; there he is. Who do you want to follow? Who do you want to follow? Choose sides carefully, my dear friend; think about it. Listen—I had rather be a saved sinner than an innocent angel. We have gained more in Christ than we lost in Adam.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

just a note, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc. please send to the email address.

 

BIBLE GIVEAWAY, BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE WE GAVE AWAY A BIBLE.

 

SO A LARGE PRINT, COMPACT KJV (KING JAMES VERSION) BROWN LEATHER, RED LETTER EDITION.

SO IN THE “TAGS” THERE IS ONE PHRASE I USE THAT IS NOT BIBLICAL, NAME THE PHRASE AND EMAIL US THE ANSWER TO WIN A FREE BIBLE, NO SHIPPING COST, TOTALLY FREE.

 

The Thorn

May 24, 2018

The Suffering Saint

  “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

  If and when the trial comes, you will find Jesus waiting there.

  “We should always be prepared for circumstances that will arise, and for blessings that are to come, without foreseeing what these circumstances and blessings will be. This preparation consists in attention to present responsibility, and acceptance of present discipline. (walking the walk)

  “If day by day we first seek divine direction, and then follow it, we shall be ready, when new circumstances arise, for the new blessings which will be offered. Today should be preparation for tomorrow. The only proof that we shall be equal to tomorrow’s test is that we are meeting today’s test believingly and courageously. The only evidence that we shall be willing for God’s will tomorrow is that we are subject to His will today.”

  “Our Lord has special reserves of grace for special needs. If ever you feel that you could not go through a certain trial, that if you had to face that, you just could not go through with it, you are taking on something that you have no right to take on.

  “If the Lord calls you to go through fire or water, He has a special reserve of grace for you in that. And that grace will be from the throne of grace. It is the throne above, mediating grace for need and suffering as it is required.”

  “Let us. . . come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Roger S, his sister passed away today, sudden death, a real shock to the family and friends.

Sally H, her husband needs prayer for grief and ptsd.

 

Living Guilt Free

May 14, 2018

Guilt is that awful feeling that hits us in the pit of the stomach when we know we have done wrong, and we’ll do almost anything to get rid of it. Adam and Eve, our first parents, established a human pattern that continues to this day. First comes the cover-up. Then we play the blame game as we try to justify or rationalize our actions. We think that the more we can blame someone else, the less guilty we will feel.

Sometimes we try to escape from guilt through activities, alcohol, or drugs. Or we run to psychiatrists—but secular psychiatry has tried to solve the problem of guilt by saying there is no such thing as sin. Just ignore that guilty feeling, we’re told, because it has no basis in reality. We try, but somehow we just can’t pull it off. Why not?

We can’t escape these feelings by ignoring them because God built into our natures a knowledge of right and wrong—a moral code. God’s Word speaks of the moral conscience, which exists even within those who are not aware of His laws.

One example of this is described in Romans 2:14-15: “When Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.”

GOD GAVE US A CONSCIENCE TO MAKE US AWARE OF SIN

There has never been a civilization on earth that didn’t have laws—rules about right and wrong. Even though humankind hasn’t always worshiped the living God, the moral codes of every civilization prove that there is an objective authority who has set a standard. The human conscience is evidence of God’s existence and His standards for behavior.

God is the One we offend when we sin, and only He can provide a remedy for our sin and guilt. From the third chapter of Genesis on, He required animals to be sacrificed for human beings who wanted to have their sins forgiven. And the New Testament reminds us again, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (Heb. 9:22).

But the blood of these thousands of animals could not remove sin. It only covered it, until the one perfect Sacrifice was made that completely satisfied the holiness and justice of God. When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus, he said in one sentence the purpose for His coming to earth: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

God’s Only Remedy for Sin and Guilt Is Jesus

Jesus came to earth to die. He was the Substitute for us—He took our punishment in our place so we could be forgiven and made right with God. But what we don’t always understand is that God also wants us to be free from guilt. We learn this from His Word.

GOD’S FORGIVENESS INCLUDES A CLEANSED CONSCIENCE

Through Christ, God has wiped our record clean. He wants us to know it, and to live in that freedom. We’re told, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Heb. 9:14).

When believers in biblical times put their faith in Christ, they acted like forgiven and cleansed people. Zaccheus, described in Luke 19, is a classic example. Everyone knew Zaccheus was a sinner—he worked for Israel’s oppressor, the Roman government. In fact, Zaccheus was head of the equivalent to the Roman Internal Revenue Service. He levied the taxes Caesar required, and he was free to add whatever he wanted for himself.

When Jesus invited Himself to Zaccheus’s house, He demonstrated publicly that He even accepted sinners as terrible as Zaccheus was perceived to be. Zaccheus responded by putting his faith in Christ as his Messiah. But notice how he gave evidence of it: “Zaccheus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8).

Zaccheus repented—he changed his way of life. He promised to make generous restitution to those he had cheated. The change was dramatic. That’s why Jesus could say in response, “Today, salvation has come to this house.” Zaccheus’s new conduct was evidence of his new faith.

THROUGH CHRIST, SIN IS GONE FOREVER

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s eternal remedy for human sin. When we trust Him, He not only forgives our sins, but He also cleanses our conscience of guilt. What happens to our sins? Once God has forgiven them, they are:

Out of sight: “You have put all my sins behind your back” (Isa. 38:17).

Out of mind: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Jer. 31:34).

Out of reach: “You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Mic. 7:19).

Out of existence: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isa. 43:25).

Our sins are gone, removed from existence as if they had never happened in the first place. We can start our new life with a clean slate. And God gives us His Holy Spirit to empower us with new strength.

Have you been trying to make it on your own? Perhaps you have done things that have filled you with guilt, and you think if you’re sorry enough and if you do enough good things, you can make up for the bad. No way!

GOD FORGIVES US BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST

Scripture tells us we are washed clean and given new life through faith in Jesus Christ: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6).

What wonderful words—kindness, love, and mercy! Have you trusted our kind and loving and merciful God alone to save you? If you haven’t, talk to Him in your heart and tell Him you’re through trying to earn your salvation. Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness, eternal life, and a cleansed conscience. There is no other way.

SIN DAMAGES OUR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

So now we understand what happens to our sin when we ask God for forgiveness—it vanishes! But most of us have to ask another question: What happens when we sin after we have trusted Christ? Can a believer, a child of God, lose his or her salvation? Do we have to be saved all over again? If all our sins—past, present, and future—are forgiven because of Christ’s death, why do we have to do anything at all?

The answer is this: When a believer sins, something happens that has to be dealt with. Our relationship with God cannot be broken, because we are His children by the new birth, but our fellowship with Him is damaged. Have you noticed that when you feel guilty because you’ve done something you know is wrong, you avoid praying or reading your Bible? You don’t feel like coming to church, and you may not even enjoy being with your Christian friends as much as usual. These feelings are evidence that your fellowship with God is broken.

Because He loves us, God wants our fellowship with Him to be restored. And He has provided a way for us to continue being cleansed from guilt for sins we commit after our salvation. The apostle John tells us how it’s done: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

The trouble is, we often don’t follow God’s directions for our cure. Sometimes we wait a very long time before agreeing with God that we have sinned. All that time guilt eats its corrosive way into our conscience. David’s story, in the Old Testament, is an excellent example of this process.

The Story of David and Bathsheba

God spoke of David as a man after His own heart; He chose David to be king over Israel. From his teen years, David was devoted to God in an extraordinary way. He followed God’s ways. He listened to godly counsel. And when he was a fugitive from King Saul for at least ten years, he constantly found his refuge in God, who rescued him again and again. David was a deeply spiritual man with a well-developed emotional capacity. He was also a man with normal human passions.

He was about fifty years old when he committed the sins that affected him for the rest of his life. Today this is called “going through midlife crisis.” David saw another man’s wife and lusted for her. It didn’t matter that her husband was one of his trusted soldiers who was out on the battlefield fighting for him. David sent for Bathsheba and slept with her. Then, when she let David know she was pregnant, he ordered her husband Uriah to come home so he could sleep with her and thus make it look like the child was his. That didn’t work, so David instructed his commanding general to put Uriah on the front of the battle lines so he would be killed.

Uriah died in battle, and after Bathsheba had finished her mourning period, David married her. The cover-up was in place. But then we read these ominous words at the end of 2 Samuel 11: “But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.”

God knew all about David’s behavior, and He would not let His beloved servant get away with such a flagrant and heartless abuse of power. During the unfolding of the story, about a year went by from start to finish—a year during which David seemed to be without a conscience at all. Remember, David was a believer, a man after God’s own heart, a man to whom God had promised a lasting dynasty. His would be the royal line from which the Messiah would come. Didn’t he feel guilty for sins as wicked as adultery and murder? Yes, but he had stifled his conscience. He wouldn’t listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. But he paid the price for his actions. Here’s how he described his experience: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Ps. 32:3-4).

So God sent the prophet Nathan to waken David’s conscience with a story that appealed to his emotions. Nathan told him about a poor man who had only one little pet lamb, which he loved like a child. A rich man, who had many flocks of his own, stole this little lamb and made it into shish-kebabs for a dinner guest. Here’s how David reacted to Nathan’s story:

“David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing” (2 Sam. 12:5-6).

Nathan looked into the face of his angry king who had just passed judgment on himself and said to David, “You are the man!”

How would David respond to the accusation and the punishment? He tells us his response in Psalm 32:5: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD—and you forgave the guilt of my sin!”

CONFESSION IS REQUIRED FOR GUILT TO BE REMOVED

David made no excuses; he blamed no one else. He said, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

You may be asking, What about his sin against Bathsheba and against Uriah? No, David saw his sin for what all sin is—an offense against the Lord. And he knew the punishment was just, because he knew the truth of this spiritual principle:

Forgiveness does not cancel out the natural consequences of our sins.

Nathan told David, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Loin show utter contempt, the son born to you will die” (2 Sam. 12:13).

The death of the child was just the beginning. David lived to see his son Amnon rape his half-sister, Tamar. Then David’s son Absalom killed Amnon and later tried to seize David’s throne, and he was also killed. In fact, from this time on, David’s life deteriorated until the day he died. His one act of unbridled passion permanently marked his family and his kingdom. But his fellowship with God was restored. After Nathan came to him, David wrote Psalm 51, which eloquently describes his sin, his repentance, and his forgiveness.

read Hebrews 9:14 to her: “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (emphasis mine).

“we have to act with our wills to apply what God’s Word says. Then He will eventually take care of our emotions.”

We Need a Clean Conscience to Serve God

Hebrews 9:14 provides an interesting insight about the result of our cleansing and forgiveness. God does this, the writer of Hebrews explains, “that we may serve the living God.”

Guilt keeps us from serving God. Yet God can even use the sins we have committed to make us more effective in our work for Him. Only when we refuse God’s provision for forgiveness, for cleansing, and for a new beginning are we incapacitated by our past sins. That’s why it is important for us to remember:

Satan wants us to be immobilized by guilt.

We have an enemy whose main purpose is to keep us from serving the Lord. In Scripture he is called the “accuser” of believers. If you continue to feel guilty for forgiven sins, you are hearing the voice of the enemy, not the Holy Spirit. Satan is a liar. Reject the fiery darts he shoots at your mind by holding up the shield of faith in the finished work of your Savior, and the devil will flee from you.

If guilt is the obstacle that has kept you from growing in your spiritual life, won’t you lay down your burden at the cross? Accept God’s forgiveness. Let Him cleanse your conscience. And commit yourself to living in obedience to God’s Word and to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you. Your burden of guilt will be lifted—once and for all.

With God there is always a way back, we just have to accept it.

Come on, give up the guilt and shame, no matter what you have done God is willing to forgive you, just the fact that you are thinking about God and wanting forgiveness is the first step.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

BY DESIGN

March 19, 2018

  “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).

  Acknowledging our insufficiency and appropriating His all-sufficiency are the basic building blocks for our growth in the “not I but Christ” life.

  “There is no child of God that has set his face to go through with Him, who has not grieved over the weakness of his love for the Lord Jesus. Our hearts have mourned, and we have suffered when we have realized our selfishness and mixed motives; the weak, unstable love we have for Him.

  “Truly none of us can rejoice in our love for Him. But when we begin to apprehend His great, eternal love for us, our hearts are filled with joy. And we praise Him for His love, His longsuffering and patience; and we magnify His Name for that love which never fails.”

  “When we slip out of communion with God, how wretched we are, and how we contribute to the unhappiness of others! Whereas in communion with our Father there is power to enable us to resist the devil, to enjoy the Lord and to promote the true blessing of His own. May we have our Lord Jesus constantly in held in highest esteem in our hearts.”

  “Nothing but an intelligent and growing acquaintance with the Lord Jesus can satisfy the renewed heart. The very mercy that delivers a soul becomes a hindrance unless the Lord Himself be the one Object.”

  “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

Got Pruned?

March 12, 2018

Got Pruned?

A great mystery surrounds the spiritual growth of the hungry-hearted believer.

The Spirit gives a foretaste of a deeper life before the believer is led into the fulness of it. Many believers mistake their foretaste for the fulness, not realizing that the Lord is just beginning to lead them

The hard-heartedness of our nature is the failure of our youth—our spiritual youth, as well as our natural youth; eagerness to run in God’s path, but not apprehending what the path is, or what it requires to walk in it. On the other hand, when the cost is counted, and our weakness known, the energy begotten of self-confidence being gone, we need a stimulating call on God’s part, to get out of the persistent occupation with our weakness now, as with our strength before.

Suffering is not meant by God to be loss and deprivation. Satan says that it is. God means suffering to result in increased spiritual capacity, which is the basis of added responsibility, trust, and fruitful sharing. The branch of the vine may bleed from the drastic pruning and feel stripped of much glory; but more and better fruit is the vinedresser’s vindication.

But we being of such stubborn nature, like the Apostle Paul, ‘kicking against the prods.” Thus, the school of the desert, the wilderness wanderings, the warring in our hearts with what we should and what we most heartily do naught. There is as much left undone in our lives as what ought to be done. Thus the reason that God is a Vinedresser and we the vineyard.

  “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Cor. 15:49).

Thank God, He is patient, or we would be branches thrown in the fire.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

A special thanks to our prayer warriors, and a big shout to the encouragers. I can’t tell you how many nights I come to the keyboard and think there is no more to be poured out. And yet He gives more, all glory to God, He is worthy of all our praise. And to Ms. Kelly, yes, these are all rough drafts, “grammar be damned “ (G. K. Chesterton)

The one and only

March 10, 2018

TRUST YOUR BIBLE

In 1889 a schoolteacher told a ten-year-old boy, “You will never amount to very much.” That boy was Albert Einstein. In 1954 a music manager told a young singer, “You ought to go back to driving a truck.” That singer was Elvis Presley. In 1962 a record company told a group of singers, “We don’t like your sound. Groups with guitars are definitely on their way out.” They said that to the Beatles. Man is prone to make mistakes. Those who reject the Bible should take the time to look at the evidence before they come to a verdict.

  1. It is unique in its continuity.

    If just 10 people today were picked who were from the same place, born around the same time, spoke the same language, and made about the same amount of money, and were asked to write on just one controversial subject, they would have trouble agreeing with each other. But the Bible stands alone. It was written over a period of 1,600 years by more than 40 writers from all walks of life. Some were fishermen; some were politicians. Others were generals or kings, shepherds or historians. They were from three different continents,

    and wrote in three different languages. They wrote on hundreds of controversial subjects yet they wrote with agreement and harmony. They wrote in dungeons, in temples, on beaches, and on hillsides, during peacetime and during war. Yet their words sound like they came from the same source. So even though 10 people today couldn’t write on one controversial subject and agree, God

    picked 40 different people to write the Bible—and it stands the test of time.

  2. It is unique in its circulation.

    The invention of the printing press in 1450 made it possible to print books in large quantities. The first book printed was the Bible. Since then, the Bible has been read by more people and printed more times than any other book in history. By 1930, over one billion Bibles had been distributed by Bible societies around the world. By 1977, Bible societies alone were printing over 200 million Bibles each year, and this doesn’t include the rest of the Bible publishing companies. No one who is interested in knowing the truth can ignore such an important book.

  3. It is unique in its translation.

    The Bible has been translated into over 1,400 languages. No other book even comes close.

  4. It is unique in its survival.

    In ancient times, books were copied by hand onto manuscripts which were made from parchment and would decay over time. Ancient books are available today only because someone made copies of the originals to preserve them. For example, the original writings of Julius Caesar are no longer around. We know what he wrote only by the copies we have. Only 10 copies still exist, and they were made 1,000 years after he died. Only 600 copies of Homer’s The Iliad exist, made 1,300 years after the originals were written. No other book has as many copies of the ancient manuscripts as the Bible. In fact, there are over 24,000 copies of New Testament manuscripts, some written within 35 years of the writer’s death.

  5. It is unique in withstanding attack.

    No other book has been so attacked throughout history as the Bible. In A.D. 300 the Roman emperor Diocletian ordered every Bible burned because he thought that by destroying the Scriptures he could destroy Christianity. Anyone caught with a Bible would be executed. But just 25 years later, the Roman emperor Constantine ordered that 50 perfect copies of the Bible be made at government expense. The French philosopher Voltaire, a skeptic who destroyed the faith of many people, boasted that within 100 years of his death, the Bible would disappear from the face of the earth. Voltaire died in 1728, but the Bible lives on. The irony of history is that 50 years after his death, the Geneva Bible Society moved into his former house and used his printing presses to print thousands of Bibles.

The Bible has also survived criticism. No book has been more attacked for its accuracy. And yet archeologists are proving every year that the Bible’s detailed descriptions of historic events are correct.

You can mock, you can laugh in derision, but the only people being martyred today are people who believe in the bible. It is estimated that over 150,000 people per year are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. No other religion is being attacked like Christianity, the simple reason is it is the only true way to God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Continue to pray for Joe,

pray for Courtney and her failing health,

for Greg M. and his battle with addiction.

Melissa and sobriety and abstinence.

And for Beth Ann as she battles with an eating disorder

and for Olivia, 23 and facing the partial removal of her stomach, and her ovaries and a large part of her colon.

Thank you all for your prayer support, send your prayer requests and comments to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com God bless.