Monday, October 31, 2011

Overcoming Lust

"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Hebrews 11:25

A compilation of messages from various ministers on how to overcome lust.

Lust is never satisfied and giving in to it only feeds lust, making it bigger and making you a slave to it.

"Temptation is not sin...but the second look is."

There is a difference between worldly sorrow and Godly sorrow.

Worldly sorrow focuses on you: What is the consequence of my sin? Will I be judged? Will I go to Hell?

Godly sorrow focuses on God and says "I have sinned against the heart of the one I love so much."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Fear of God Has Been Lost

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Psalm 111:10

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

The following is a compilation of sermons from Ministers Carter Conlon, Zac Poonen, Paul Washer, Art Katz, Leonard Ravenhill, David Wilkerson, and others.

It addresses the questions of: What has happened to the fear of God in the church?   What does it mean to fear God?  What are the results of not fearing God?

As Pastor Conlon says, "This [a proper fear of God] is where we move towards truth or we cover our own selves with the garment of religion."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Will Wait For You

A woman asked me recently whether I believe that it is God who joins people together in marriage.  I stated that I do, because that is expressly what God says in His word (Matthew 19:6).  "Why then" she wondered, "are there so many divorces in Christian marriages?"

I believe this is largely due to the fact that people rarely consider or seek God's plan for their lives.  It is enough for me to just profess faith in Christ, but then go on living my life the way that I want to live it.

While it should be God who joins people together, it is common for people to run off and simply do what is right in their own eyes.  If we do not follow God's plan, then we have no greater assurance of success for our efforts than does one who is not saved.  When it comes to marriage, just like many other subjects, those 'in the church' often have the same mindset as in the world.

So when trials come - the "for worse, in sickness, for poorer" times - our true colors come shining through.  We can talk about waiting on God for marriage, but what about waiting on God after marriage?  Do we trust Him to work out any issues?  Do we consider Him faithful to continue molding our spouses (and ourselves) into His image, even through our experiences in life?  Do we actually believe that it is God who joined us together (as we professed) or do we simply conclude that we (and God) made a mistake?  Faith in God will compel us to prayer and motivate us to patiently wait on God, even when marriages hit hard times.  If our level of commitment in marriage ends at the point where "I" am being put out, then we have never understood the covenant of marriage to begin with.

A friend shared with me last year:  "Most people who get married are 2 ticks, each assuming the other is a dog. Their intention is to take, take, take...and when the well runs dry, they say, 'We just don't love each other anymore.' No marriage will last or be truly happy without a continuous pattern of selflessness."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is You Is Or Is You Ain't?

Being Baptized with the Holy Ghost AND Fire

There used to be a song called, "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" where a man laments being in love with a woman who seems ambivalent about his affection.  The lyrics are in part:
Is you is or is you ain't my baby?
The way you're actin' lately makes me doubt
Yous is still my baby-baby
Seems my flame in your heart's done gone out
The woman is saying all of the right words, but her actions (and maybe her inaction) lead him to think that her professed sentiments just aren't true.

This is the same issue that Jesus takes up with the last days church of Laodicea. 

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Revelation 3:15-16

What is causing the Church to no longer be "hot"?  They have lost that holy fire of God.  They have no passion or zeal for Jesus Christ.  As Jesus puts it, they have become lukewarm or tepid.  Because iniquity abounds, the love of many has simply gone cold (Matthew 24:12).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Can Be Free From Masturbation

"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God." I Thessalonians 4:3-5

Sexual sin is a real issue for these days, especially for young people.  Yet it is those hidden areas such as this which rarely see the light of day because people are often too ashamed to speak of them.

Over the years, various young people have posted or sent comments on this blog asking for prayer about masturbation.  Therefore, if the sphere of individuals with whom the Lord has let me come into contact are dealing with such issues, then I know it must be relevant for a broader audience.

If openly discussing such topics offends you then I am sorry....sorry for you that is.  Sorry that you have chosen to create for yourself a make-believe world of "salvation" which is too pristine to be touched with such issues as sin.  Sorry that your "Christianity" doesn't have enough Christ to engender compassion for those struggling with such real life issues.

Jesus washed the feet of His disciples; yet, some "Christians" are too "saved" to get their hands dirty serving others in the hopes of bringing them into deeper fellowship with Jesus.  Let it not be said of us.  Not everything about Christianity is sunshine and roses.  The truth be told, Jesus is redeeming us from an old sinful nature with its own corrupt and defiled desires.  These must be dealt with.  If we cannot discuss sin, how can we ever hope to bring such persons struggling with it to salvation?

Monday, October 24, 2011


"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." James 2:19

A new Christian recently told me that she was asked, "Do you believe in demons?"  It is interesting that this can even be a question in the Christianworld.

My thought is, "Who cannot believe?"  Unclean spirits are certainly present throughout Scriptures, so why would we doubt their existence?  If Jesus gives those who believe in Him the power to cast out demons, then why do we think they have all of a sudden gone away or are no longer an issue?

There is not much teaching on this subject, and when there is, it is often not based on the Scriptures.  The purpose of this post is to get each individual to study this subject for themselves.  See what God's word says in the matter, for how will we be able to stand if we are ignorant of the devil's devices?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

They Thought Jesus Was Crazy

And They'll Think You Are Too

"And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself." Mark 3:21

When word reached Jesus' family and friends about the great works He was doing in the name of God, they didn't rejoice, sing praises, or seek to join Him.  They immediately went to stop Him.  Why?  They assumed that He had gone crazy.
"Lay hold on" is the word krateō which means: to rule or be master over; to be in possession of, to seize; to retain or restrain.

"Beside himself" is existēmi which means: to be out of one's mind, insane
There is nothing passive in their response to Jesus' ministry.  They intended to overpower Jesus and subdue Him.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Psalm 102

The Mystery of Israel & The Church

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good." Psalm 122:6-9

Min. Art Katz reviews Psalm 102 as a prophetic message for the end times regarding what must happen before the Deliverer (Jesus) is sent out of Zion.
  • Israel's recognition of God's righteous judgments against them
  • The Church's identification with, and concern for, the plight of Israel 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Would Not Have You to Be Ignorant

The Love of the Truth

God says repeatedly in His word that He "would not have us to be ignorant" (Romans 1:13, 11:25; I Corinthians 10:1, 12:1; II Corinthians 1:8, 2:11; I Thessalonians 4:13; II Peter 3:8).  Yet many times we allow ourselves to be willfully ignorant by picking & choosing what we will accept as truth from God's word.  We even do so with regard to the very character of God, divorcing from Him those attributes which make us uncomfortable.  As is often said, "There is none so blind as one who will not see."

We cannot love God without loving the (whole) truth, for He is Truth.  The love of the truth is what will protect believers from end time deceptions to which even God will turn some over (II Thessalonians 2:10-11).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Authentic Spirituality

Jewish Evangelism is the Ultimate Test of the Church

"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." Romans 11:11

Sometimes, Christians act as if faith in Jesus Christ was something that was just spontaneously birthed one day whose end is simply the individual salvation of our souls.  Yet Christianity it is the product of a purposeful history - as well as part of a prophetic future - which is yet unfolding today.

We have spoken before about who Israel is, yet how many times do we stop to consider God's masterful plan of the ages and the role which we have in it?  Do we understand that we have been engrafted into a spiritual heritage which makes us partakers of the commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12-13)?

I dare to say that there is not much about "the Church" which would give undeniable & unshakeable testimony to the heart of the Jewish people that such is the reflection of the One, True God.   Yet this should not be...according to the Scriptures.

If the life of God is not so evident in the Church that it moves the Jew to jealousy, then why not?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Occupy Till I Come

"For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him." Luke 19:26

I often feel like I am sitting as a stranger in this world, watching events unfold like one would watch a movie on the big screen.  The very fabric of the world's "reality" is in itself unreal.  The systems of the world are all built upon lies, the atmosphere is one of fantasy, and even the truths of this world are merely attempts at manipulation.   And yet, there are those who are invested completely in this madness, caught up in it, believing in it, and even fighting for it.

"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." John 18:36

All around the world there are growing pockets of civil unrest.  In the U.S. a particular movement called "Occupy" is gaining momentum as people protest in the streets about economic inequity, banking fraud, and overall disenchantment with the current power structure.
occupy: to take possession and control of a place, as by military invasion; to be a resident or tenant of; dwell in.
While the objectives of those in this group seem disparate, one overall theme is that they all seem interested in saving the world or restoring the American Dream.  How do they aim to do this?  So far, by "occupying" public places to make their demands known.  Yet as I read about the activities of this movement, I couldn't help but think of Luke Chapter 19.

"...Occupy till I come." Luke 19:13b

Was Jesus urging Christians to take to the streets, championing our political banners & causes so that our voices will be heard by the ruling elite?  There are even those who preach a false "Gospel of the Kingdom" with its "Kingdom Living" principles stating how we must take the "Kingdom Now" as defined by Christians taking over the systems of this world before Jesus can return.  Yet, we know that this is not true for when Jesus returns, the world will be as Sodom and as Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-30); we can see that now as we look around us...and it will get worse until Jesus comes.  Further, unlike the systems of this world, the Kingdom of God is not temporal and shall never pass away.  God's word is clear that the Kingdom to which Jesus referred is not of this world.

So what did Jesus mean when He told us to "occupy"?  Certainly the Church is to represent Christ in an evil world, preaching the Gospel in order to advance the Kingdom of God.  However, we must also "occupy" on an individual level; working out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Congregation, The Club, and The Church

Below is a message from Pastor Zac Poonen's church from a conference called "New Wine in New Windeskins".  The full listing of messages may be found on their video page.

The Congregation, The Club, and The Church
  • The old wineskin is like layers of an onion.  This can deceive many into thinking they have reached new wineskin, while they have actually simply been through a few layers of the old wineskin.
  • The new wineskin is a narrow way.
  • The joy set before Jesus - which propelled Him to the death of the cross - was the joy of being in submission to the Father's commands because He loved the Father (John 14:30-31; Hebrews 12:2).
  • The love for the Father must come first in our lives if we are to love others and lay our lives down for them.  
  • All Christian work (including the building of His church) must come from a love for the Father for that is what allows us to hear His commands and obey Him. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Letters of Second, Third John and Jude

The Greek word Apotosia comes from the root word
Apostasion meaning "divorce."  Those who
fall into apostasy are divorced from God.
Earnestly Contend for the Faith

Recently, I was asked a pretty straightforward I thought.  Someone asked if their sister - who had been a practicing lesbian until her death - could possibly be in Heaven, because she was also a professing Christian.

Other "Christians" had told her: "We cannot know another person's heart"..."We cannot know who might go to Heaven until the judgment"..."Jesus paid the debt for all of our sins and our righteousness is in Him alone, not ourselves."  "Once we are saved we are always saved, so that person is surely in Heaven."..."Everybody sins; that doesn't mean we are no longer saved."...Remember, salvation is not of works."  

I told her that - unless this person repented of their sin and turned in faith to Christ before dieing - then no, such cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." I Corinthians 6:9-10

When this person shared my response with the other "Christians", they told her that I was being "too dogmatic" and no one could say for sure whether homosexuals/lesbians make it into Heaven. 
dogmatic: forcibly asserted as if authoritative and unchallengeable.
Let me ask you something.  If we cannot stand unwavering, unchallengeable, and with authority on what God explicitly states in His word, then why are we claiming to belong to Him?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First Letter of John

God is Light & Love

The following notes are from Pastor Zac Poonen's sermon on 1 John.
  • John wrote all of his letters just a few years before he died and these writings reflect the perspective of a mature Christian.
  • What's important in 1 John is not only what he says, but what he doesn't say.  He says nothing on church government, the pattern of fellowship, speaking in tongues, healing, prosperity...  
  • The theme of the letter is that God is light and love.  These are the two eternal realities.
  • Practically for us that means life and fellowship; if you love one another you will have fellowship.
  • The life of God - a life of purity, humility, love, and goodness - should be in you.  Everything else we can obtain is a waste of time.
  • If we have church meetings, organized service, preaching, etc. but don't have true fellowship, then we have missed the main thing and are wasting time.
  • Even in a Christian home, the most important thing is that the life of God is in the husband, wife, and children and that there is fellowship.
  • Humility is the ground from which all of these other things can grow.  Our calling is to humble ourselves.
  • We can be friendly to all, but are only called to fellowship with those who also have the life of God within.
  • The cross is the means by which we come to fellowship with God first, and then each other; there is no fellowship with it.