Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apocalypse Now - Part 2

In Part 2 of the Apocalypse Now series from Omega Church & Ministries Center, Pastor Price provides an overview of the two testaments of Scripture and how they work together to provide a complete revelation of the salvation experience.

Topics covered in this video include:

Apocalypse Now - Part 2
  • Who are the two witnesses in the book of Revelation and why are they important?  
  • What role does the Old Testament law have in the life of believers?   
  • How do we overcome sin?  
  • How does the Bible show a repeated pattern of conflict between two natures?  
  • What is regeneration?  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apocalypse Now - Part 1

"But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life"  Jude 1:17-21

Many people talk about the end times, the latter or last days, the Second Coming of Christ, but what does all of this really mean?  What happens during this time and how can we know when that time is approaching?  How do we prepare and what do we need to know in order to prepare?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Word for Eddie Long & New Birth

"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." Matthew 18:15-17

A brother once shared that the wisdom God gives us in how to handle disputes is very similar to how He deals with us in our trespasses against Him. When there are things in our lives that God does not like, He comes to us directly to put light on those things through personal conviction by His Holy Spirit.  If we do not take heed, He will send two or three witnesses to confirm the word of the Spirit.  If even then we do not turn, He will expose the issue before the church. If our heart is hardened still, we become like the heathen.

Consider how each of these steps illustrates the character of God.  He continually works to turn us from sin.  God is longsuffering, and there is a whole lot of 'stepping over' we must do to go around His commands. He gets no pleasure in damning people to hell, but desires that men repent and live (Ezekiel 18:23-32, 33:11; Luke 15:20-24; II Peter 2:9). Therefore, He gives us plenty of space to do so.

So many are focused on whether Eddie Long coerced young men into sexual relationships.  While this indeed is a serious charge, I would like to bring your attention to the mercies of God.  Our eyes are often too LOW.  The bigger question in this matter is what is God doing?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Up on a Pedestal...Instead of a Cross

Puffed up by the Flatterer

"Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away." Job 32:21-22

Recently my family watched the movie, "Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven". It is based on the classic novel "Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan.

In the story, you follow the walk of a man named "Christian" as he seeks eternal life. Along this journey, there are various people that he meets, including the "Flatterer". Christian had been warned to stay clear of the Flatterer, for he would say anything to lead him off of the path. And well into his journey - almost to his destination - Christian encounters him.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brokenness - The Key to Heavenly Life

Not of Works

Although we just completed a series on whether the Scriptures are reliable as God's words, the Scriptures in and of themselves are still not the whole of what is needed in the new life we have in Christ. Study of the Scriptures is what Zac Poonen below calls "necessary", but true victory in the Lord only comes through brokenness; when it is no longer about what we are doing for God, but what He is doing in and through us.

We must come through the Holy Place, which includes feeding on God's word, being enlightened by His Spirit, and communing with Him in prayer and worship...but our journey doesn't end there.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Thy Word IS Truth - Conclusion

How I Love They Precepts

"I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word....Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness." Psalms 119:14-16, 159

God exalts His word even above all His name (Psalms 138:2). Yet how is it that so many deny His words in order to honor His name? Such is truly deception and He will not accept such defiled offerings. If we do not believe what God has said, doesn't that show us to be unbelievers?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thy Word IS Truth - Part 4

The Scriptures Have Been Perverted
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There are many reasons why people assert that the Scriptures have been perverted.
  • The Roman Catholic Church defined the canon of the Bible, and therefore it must be corrupt because that organization is corrupt.  
  • Scribes had to translate the Scriptures by hand in the early days, increasing the likelihood of error.
  • Men with political motivations had Scripture changed so as to accomplish their own purposes.
  • We don't have the original manuscripts, only copies; so we cannot possibly know what the original Scriptures said.
  • Translations from the original language of Scripture have caused it to lose its true meaning.
Yet regardless of the reason given, the end conclusion for these individuals is the same: we no longer have a complete and reliable source of Old Testament and New Testament Scripture which can be said to unequivocally be God's word.

You might be amazed how many professing Christians do not really believe that the Scriptures we possess today are the words of God.  The truth of the matter is that such beliefs say much more about their understanding of who God is than it does about the status of the Scripture.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thy Word IS Truth - Part 3

The Bible is not the "Word of God"

One reason people say that it is wrong to call the Scriptures the "word of God" is because Jesus Christ bears the title "Word of God" (John 1:1-2; Revelation 19:13).  They claim it is idolatrous to use this phrase in any other way and that Scripture is never referred  to as the "word of God".

While it is true that Jesus is the Word made incarnate, does that mean the phrase "word of God" should not be used when referencing words from God?  Is there any legitimacy to these claims? 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thy Word IS Truth - Part 2

Not All of Scripture is All Scripture

Many claim to hold God's word in high regard, yet are very selective as to what they will adhere to or acknowledge. They either esteem parts of God's words over others or try to completely discount certain texts altogether.

The Torah

One way this is done is via the elevation of the Torah. The amazing thing is that ones who do this often charge other Christians with neglecting God's words, yet very few embrace the New Testament texts with the same vigor. Instead, they often do the exact opposite by denigrating the significance of the NT text or changing its meaning in order to justify elevation of the Torah.

One assertion made is that the word "Scriptures" in the Bible is speaking only of the Old Testament texts because these were the "Scriptures" as they knew them at the time. Some go even further and will discredit the majority of the NT text by labeling Paul a false apostle and asserting that his writings are not inspired by God.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thy Word IS Truth - Part 1

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

It is interesting how - in these last and evil days - many are making professions of faith in Christ, yet feel no need to honor God's words.

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the root of every deception and error lies in an attitude that feels it is acceptable to reject the whole counsel of God. God Himself stated that certain ones are given over to believe a lie because they loved not the truth (II Thessalonians 2:10-11).

So let us not take lightly God's command that we study to show ourselves approved, able to rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15); for many are being led astray. Often, these arguments against the Scriptures come across sounding super-spiritual or academic, but beware of the wisdom of men. If one has to pervert or deny the authority of Scripture to support a doctrine, then that is a good indicator such doctrine should be suspect.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Women, Reverence Your Husbands

This post was originally made in another forum based on a conversation we were having about marriage.  However, I believe it is important enough to post here.  For the purposes of this message, we will be using the Amplified Version of the Scriptures.

"Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands... 

However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."  Ephesians 5:22-24, 33

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How is the Law to be Used Lawfully?

"As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having SWERVED have TURNED ASIDE aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.  

But we know that the law is good, IF a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is NOT made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust." I Timothy 1:3-11