Posts tagged ‘Christians’

Hello. I am a Christian, and I am a Hypocrite.

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are either a Christian, or you are not a Christian.  If you are a Christian, chances are you read the title and thought, “Oh great.  Another wacko spouting off and making the rest of us look bad.”  If on the other hand, you are not a Christian, you probably saw this title and thought, “Finally a ‘Christian’ who will admit the truth.”

Since you are both here, allow me to explain myself.  Then you can make up your own mind about me.  Here’s the deal.  I am a Christian.  I take the liberty of claiming that because I am a follower of Christ Jesus.  Not only do I follow His teachings, but I have dedicated my life to living in complete service to Him.  I even go so far as to say that I asked Him to be my Lord, the one who has complete say over my life, and my Savior.  He is my Savior because He took the punishment God had reserved for me because of my wrong-doings (known in our circles as sin)…let me emphasize that.  Jesus took my punishment.  What I deserved, He took upon Himself.  He saved me from it.  Thus He is my Savior.

Here’s the other part of this.  I am a hypocrite.  But I’m probably not the kind of hypocrite you are expecting me to confess to.  I think we can all generally agree that a hypocrite is someone who says one thing, but does another, right?  I would add, though, that typically a hypocrite would be considered someone who says something and then intentionally, knowingly, does the opposite.  Wouldn’t you agree? With that definition in mind, I guess I would have to say that

                                                 I AM AN ACCIDENTAL HYPOCRITE.

I’m not really a boldfaced hypocrite as you, the non-Christian, would claim.  I don’t say that I follow Jesus and obey His commands, and then intentionally break them.  You may not believe me, but I really do try to obey His commands.  The thing is that I’m not perfect.  I mess up…all the time…every single day.  I admit it.  I’m a Christian, but I’m still a sinner…at the same time.  Yes.  That is possible.  In fact, that is the reality of every single person who is a Christian.  As much as we would love to be perfect, we aren’t, and we never will be as long as we are living.

There was only one person who was perfect in the history of the world, and that was JESUS.  Jesus was perfect because He was, is, the Son of God.  He is man in the flesh, but also completely God in the Spirit, with all the power that goes with being God.  That was how He was able to take my punishment, and the punishment of every single person who ever had and whoever will live.  He deserved no punishment of His own, SO HE TOOK MINE…and yours.  Oh, I know.  You are pretty certain that because I am such a hypocrite, whether accidental or not, you are much better than me.  Here’s where I leave the political correctness stuff behind.  You aren’t any better than me.  Hold on now.  Before you flip your wig, I’m not better than you either.  I never said that I was.  When it comes to being human, we are all on the same equal playing field.  The Bible says that ALL men have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  In other words, everyone, ev-er-y single one, does wrong.  It doesn’t matter how much wrong.  One wrong is the same as a thousand wrongs when it causes us to not measure up to God’s standard of perfection.  You are guilty of it, and so am I.  Flat out.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  It is what it is.  You can argue it until you are blue in the face, but deep down inside there is a part of you that you are desperately trying to squash.  That part that says, “You know she is right.”  You know how I know that?  Because God built everyone of us with this thing called a conscience.  More than that, He put in each of us the innate desire to search for Him.

So if I’m a sinner, and you are a sinner, what is the difference between you and me?  I mean really.  I have already admitted to being an accidental hypocrite.  I have admitted to being no better than you or anyone else.  I admitted to doing wrong every single day.  So what is the difference?  Are you ready for it?  Here it is.  I have been forgiven.  Yep.  That is it.  I have not been forgiven because I’m so special either.  I’ve been forgiven for one simple reason:  I asked.  Oh sure, first I had to admit that I am a sinner.  If I didn’t do that, there was no point in asking for forgiveness in the first place.  After all, if I don’t think I have ever done anything wrong, then what do I need forgiveness for?  But nagging deep down inside of me is the knowledge that I have lied (even little white lies).  I never made a habit of it, but I’ve done it.  I have stolen…a piece of candy when I was a child, and time from my employer when I should have been working.  I’ve been angry and bitter.  I’ve said words I shouldn’t have said.  I have been mean to people.  I’ve been jealous.  I have been ungrateful, rude, disrespectful.  I have gossiped, put my needs before the needs of others, been self-righteous.  The list goes on and on, and is as fresh as yesterday.  I cannot deny that I have done wrong things.  It’s as plain as the nose on my face.  And so is my need for forgiveness.

Every sin is like a brick in a wall that separates us from God.  It is a wall that is built by me, but with eternal bricks that cannot be torn down by human hands or effort.  It is a wall that prevents me from having a relationship with God, and from ever getting to Heaven to live with Him.  The only one who has the power to tear that wall of eternal sin bricks down is Jesus, and He will only do it if we ask Him to.  That means getting to Heaven is our choice…we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, and save us from staying on this side of the wall, staying in sin.  He then becomes our Savior.

All sin must be punished.  Jesus took our punishment when He died on the cross over 2,000 years ago.  The punishment for sin is death, eternal death.  That means our bodies die, but our spirits either live for eternity in Heaven with God, or they live an eternal death in Hell separated from God and all His goodness.  When Jesus died, He took our punishment of eternity in Hell.  When He came back to life after 3 days, He demonstrated that the power over life and death are both in His hands, and He cannot be controlled by either.  We Christians say that He conquered death and Hell.  Even though we will all still die a physical death (that is a consequence of sin, as opposed to punishment for it), our spirits don’t die.  And if we ask Jesus to be our Savior, He will break down that ugly (because sin is ugly if we are honest) wall of sin, and welcome us into the presence of God.  If we die with that wall still standing between us and God, then all hope is lost.  The wall remains in the spirit world, just as it was here in the physical world, and there is no way past it to get near to God.  The difference is that in the physical world, God’s Spirit is present in every Christian, and all around us.  Every person experiences the goodness of God as He provides rain for crops to grow, sunshine, love, peace…all the good things we have just a glimpse of here.  In Hell, on the other side of that wall, ALL of His goodness is gone.  None of it remains.  There is only the antithesis of everything good.  No love at all, only hatred.  No peace, only torment.  No laughter, only tears.  All the time, eternally.  And in that spirit world of life after physical death, the wall of sin has also become eternal.  There is no hope of every breaking it down.

Conversely, for those people who asked Jesus for His salvation, and allowed Him to tear that wall down, their spirits get to live surrounded by all of God’s goodness, in purest form, no longer distorted by sin and its effects, for all of eternity.  Completely pure love.  Completely whole peace.  Completely full joy.  All the time, eternally.

My ugly sin was has been torn down.  Jesus is my Savior.  I still sin, because I will never be perfect until my spirit is living in Heaven with God.  But when Jesus tore down my sin wall, He also made it impossible for it to be rebuilt.  He took my punishment once and for all.  When I sin now, I ask for forgiveness and it is given.  There are still earthly consequences for sin.  If I lie to someone, I have still hurt them and damaged our trust.  But I have confidence that Jesus will forgive me, because He promised to, and I know that lie is not going to keep me from living in Heaven.

Now, there is a burning issue that needs to be addressed.  I may be a Christian who is an accidental hypocrite, but there are definitely people who claim to be Christians and are blatant hypocrites.  What about them?  First of all, I don’t know their hearts.  I cannot make the judgement as to whether or not they actually are Christians.  Only God knows that.  What I do know is that God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  When people are standing on the side of a gay pride parade holding hateful placards, for example, that is not showing the love of God…and it is flaming hypocrisy.  It does not show love, it shows hatred.   The Bible says the world will know Christians by their love.  Hatred is a sin.  And I have just admitted that Christians still sin.  So how do we know what the truth is?  Are they actually Christians who are sinning and giving the rest of us a bad name?  If so, we must remember that we will never be perfect, and that God works in the heart of every Christian to make them more and more like Him.  Hopefully they will eventually recognize their sin, confess it and seek forgiveness.  However, it must also be recognized that these people may not really be Christians at all, but only think they are.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the world who think they are Christians just because they go to church, or try to be a good person.  Jesus said that He is the only way to be saved.  Going to church won’t save, and no one can be good enough to save themselves.  If those people are relying on something other than Jesus, they are not truly Christians, and do not have the love of God in them.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter.  You will think what you will about me and all Christians.  You will either judge us on a case-by-case basis, or you will judge us as all the same whether you know us or not.  And I will continue to be a Christian, even with my imperfections.  But I am, and always will be, a Christian who knows without a doubt that when I die, my spirit will live with God forever, with a pile of bricks from a torn down wall far behind me.  What about you?  Will you ask Jesus to tear down your wall and be your Savior?  Or will you live eternally on the side of a wall that you can never tear down?  It’s up to you.

 

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

 A few weeks ago I read an article in which a Christian suggested that we should not celebrate Christmas. Her reasoning was because it was first started by church leaders who wanted to draw pagans to Christianity by holding a celebration of Christ’s birth on the same day as a pagan celebration.  Her claim is that Christmas is a Christianized pagan holiday.

I have been outspoken myself about other holidays.  I strongly believe that Christians should not partake in Halloween.  Events like “Trunk or Treat” often sponsored by churches truly are an effort to Christianize a pagan holiday.

I have also spoken out about Easter, not because we should not celebrate it, but because we need to be aware of the connections that have been attached to it from a pagan religion that worshiped Easter, the goddess of fertility (the rabbits, eggs, and little chicks all come from this pagan holy day).

The Bible does not give any instruction to the Christian and the Church regarding celebrating Easter or Christmas.  To celebrate, or not celebrate, is not a question of obedience.  It is purely a matter of choice, and I would say, intention of the heart.

The Bible does say that we are to observe Passover, which is directly related to Yeshua’s (Jesus) sacrifice as the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.  His “Last Supper” was, in fact, the Passover meal called the Seder.  If you recall, Yeshua said, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19).  I don’t believe He meant just the particulars of the meal that we now call Communion.  He was directly associating Himself with the Passover lamb which was to be sacrificed.  It’s blood painted on the doorposts that saved the people of Israel from physical death when the angel of death moved over Egypt killing all the firstborn of the homes without the blood.  Yeshua’s blood marks us as saved from eternal death.

We are to continue to observe the Passover, even as Gentiles, with the knowledge that the sacrificial lamb is Yeshua.  In Romans 5:7-8, Paul talks about Yeshua as the “Passover” who was sacrificed for us.  The Greek language did not have a word for lamb, and so they inserted Passover in its place.  Paul tells the Church that we should “keep the feast,” the Passover Feast.  So in truth, a more accurate celebration of Messiah’s death and resurrection would be not to celebrate Easter, but to celebrate Passover each year, with Him as our sacrificial lamb.

All this being said, I don’t believe it is wrong to celebrate Good Friday and Easter, as long as the pagan parts are removed.  I do think it is completely wrong to include tools of worship for a false god with the worship of the one true God.  That is why I try to refer to it as Resurrection Sunday rather than Easter.

So far we have Halloween, which is a pagan holiday that Christians partake in because they want to, and try to disguise the truth by Christianizing it.  And we have Easter, which is a pagan holiday that was combined with a Christian celebration in order to remove the Jewishness from Christianity.  It allowed for Yeshua (Hebrew/Jewish) to be called Jesus (Greek), and it removed the fact that He was sacrificed on the Jewish Passover Feast, which we should continue to observe as Christians, just as Christ did.

What about Christmas?  I see Christmas a bit differently.  It is not a pagan holiday that has been Christianized.  It is not a pagan holiday that has been blended with another.  Rather, the way I see it, it is a Christian holiday that hijacked a pagan holiday.  The purpose was to draw people to Christianity, and it completely took over.  For centuries, the world over, people have celebrated the birth of Yeshua on Christmas Day.  We all know that December 25th is not His real birthday.  In fact, I have read that shepherds in the fields watching the sheep would have indicated that Yeshua was actually likely born sometime in the fall, not winter.  I don’t know if this is true or not.  But neither does anyone else.

There are so many symbols of Christmas that point to the birth of the Messiah, that it is difficult to say these are pagan symbols.  The candy cane, for example, which is designed to represent a shepherd’s staff, has red stripes for the blood of Yeshua and white to symbolize being cleansed from our sins.  The stars and angels, of course.  The ever-living evergreen which points tall and strong to God in the heavens.

Truthfully, if Christmas Day was set on December 25th to detract people from their pagan practices and draw them to celebrating Christ’s birth, I think it worked.  Everyone knows what Christmas is, and even today, I would say that most, at least, have some vague idea that it is a Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus.  To be sure, there is a mighty work being done to remove the true meaning and purpose of the holiday from it, but it has not succeeded…at least not yet. 

We are not commanded in the Bible in any way, shape, or form to celebrate Christmas, but honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with it.  As long as we keep pure motives and truly use it as a time to worship God and praise and thank Him for sending His Son, and as long as we are awed by the miraculous birth, the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His prophesied promises, and overwhelmed by His love for us, then may our hearts be filled with joy that our Savior, which is Christ the Lord, came for you and me.

Let us not forget that this miracle baby came not to be born, but to die.  Let us remember that Christmas is not the be all and end all of the story.  It is the beginning of the end.   His birth was the beginning of God’s redemptive work that ended when that wee baby Yeshua grew to a man, bore our sins, died on the cross in our place, and then rose again from death to life- the boy/man/Passover Lamb of God who’s sacrificial blood causes the angel of death to by-pass our souls so we can live eternally with God.

Should Christians celebrate Christmas?  Oh, yeah.  Who else in the world has more reason to celebrate?

Christians: The Zombie Apocalypse – Paving the Way for the Antichrist

This is a wake-up call!!!  Heed the words!

 

http://www.madisonscpc.com/2016/10/christians-the-zombie-apocalypse-paving-the-way-for-the-antichrist/

Christians, Henny Penny, & the End of the World

What is it with Christians these days?  There is so much talk about the End Times.  What is that all about?  It’s all Henny Penny/Chicken Little and the sky is falling doomsday gloom and doom.  Who wants to be a part of that????

If you are asking these questions, let me see if I can help you understand us for a minute or two.  Perhaps you have noticed that every now and then Hollywood puts out a futuristic movie that tells of a time to come when some sort of disaster has struck the earth, either by means of war or nature (and sometimes an alien attack from outer space) and life as we know it changes forever.  The destruction and loss of life is devastating.  Of course there is always someone, or some group who’s human spirit and will to survive drive them to overcome at all costs.  The hero saves the day and life goes on. 

Have you ever wondered why there is this underlying thought that someday things could change and we might face a future like that displayed on the movie screen?  If life is so good now, why do we even imagine something so horrible?  As someone who believes in the sovereignty of God, I believe that He has put an awareness in our hearts that all this that we live in now will not last forever.  That there is something more to come, and that it might not be so great for everyone.

Now, here is what else I can tell you.  Christians have a leg up on this one.  Whether you believe in God or not does not have any bearing on whether or not He really exists.  Sorry.  That is just the plain facts.  I can believe a chair does not exist, but that belief won’t keep me from tripping over it in the dark, because it does exist despite my belief.  See what I’m saying?  God exists, whether you believe it or not.  And He is sovereign over everything.  He has a plan for this earth, and has been rolling it out since the beginning of time, which He created, by the way.  We Christians know this because we have 2 things.  We have the Holy Bible, in which God spread out His plan for us to read.  And we have the very Holy Spirit of God living in our souls, and He causes us to understand what God has written in the Bible.  (The Bible tells us that no one can understand the words written there unless they have the Holy Spirit giving them understanding.)

So what does God say about the future of the world?  It will end.  Everything we know, as we know it, will come to an end.  Earth was never meant to exist forever in the state that it is currently in…meaning the sinful state.  God created the world and everything in it (including space and everything in that).  He created it perfect.  But one of His creation, Lucifer (also known as Satan, or the Devil) got a bit high on himself and started a mutiny in Heaven.  So God booted him out, and all his followers.  (Mind you, God knew all this would happen, He was not taken by surprise, and He could have stopped it, but chose not to so that all those who would eventually spend eternity with Him in the perfection and purity that He desires would be the ones who chose to be there.)  Satan caused trouble on earth.  He tempted the very first human beings, and they failed the test.  They disobeyed God and sin entered the world.  It not only caused all things that were created perfect to become warped and deformed, but it also brought death and decay, violence, sickness, fear, hatred…all the things we would get rid of if we could create a utopian society.  It was like all of creation became terminally ill with a disease that would take thousands of years to run its course, ever so gradually spreading through everything.  Like black slime oozing into the very pores of all in existence.  

God allowed this sickness of sinfulness so that each and every human who ever lived or will live could have the opportunity to chose to believe in Him and ultimately live with Him in a new world that would no longer have the sin disease.  But, in order for the new world to come, the old one must be destroyed, and because God is righteous, completely pure and holy, those who chose to reject Him must be destroyed as well.  Seems harsh.  But you must understand that He loves every human, whom He created individually, piece by piece, with perfect care, and offered His own Son (Jesus) as a human sacrifice (yes, I said human…He was both God and man).  And yes, I said sacrifice.  Many ancient religions required some sort of sacrifice for the penance of wrong-doing.  Christianity is no different in that.  It stems from Judaism which required the sacrifice of animals for the penalty of sinning and the cleansing from it.  Human sacrifice was not a part of it, as it was in some others.  Until God sent Jesus.  Jesus was perfect.  Never once sinned, or did anything wrong.  Because He was the Son of God, but also human (so that He faced our same temptations), He alone was able to become a sacrifice and accept the penalty for the sins of the entire world, past, present and future.  He alone could bear the wrath of God almighty.  So that is what happened.  Jesus died on the cross and rose to life again 3 days later.  He was the sacrifice.  And since then there has been no need to sacrifice animals.  After all, which one of them could do a better job than Jesus, Himself?  None. 

I know you are wondering what all this has to do with the End Times, and The Sky is Falling.  Here it is.  Jesus was the sacrifice for all humanity, but not all humanity accepts what He did. When God created man, He put in him the desire to find the source of all things.  In essence, the desire to know Him and have a relationship with Him.  That is why there are so many religions out there.  It is people searching for the truth, searching for God.  Unfortunately, Satan is also out there and he is busy confusing and weaving enormous webs of lies and deception so that many do not find God.  Yet even with the lies that they believe, there is something nagging and gnawing inside of them.  They know there is something missing.  If they chose not to recognize it, they reject God.  God has revealed Himself to all of humanity in all of creation.  Did you know that the molecular structure of tears is different based on the cause of the tears?  God did that in His creation!  The world is put together by the intelligent design of the God of the universe.  And in doing so, He reveals Himself to all humanity so that He can be found, and we can have a personal relationship with Him.

Someday, God has planned to end the sin-filled earth, and bring judgement on all those who have rejected Him.  That is why so many Christians seem to be doom and gloom.  We know the judgement of God is coming and we want desperately for you to be exempt from that.  The only way for that to happen is to chose to believe God, believe that Jesus became your sacrifice, and that even though He died, He lives still.  He asks that you turn from your sins and do your best to not live that way anymore.

I know this is getting long, but let me tell you about God’s coming judgement.  The Bible warns that the time of God’s judgement will come like a thief in the night, unexpected.  Man will be caught unawares.  But there are signs that we can watch for, and these signs are what Christians are seeing and recognizing in the world today.  Things that were prophesied in the Bible and are taking place, or activities and events that lean us toward believing that God’s judgement is coming soon.  One of the fist things that will happen, and we cannot give a time or date because only God knows that, is that those who are Christians will be miraculously taken out of this world to be with God in Heaven for a period of 7 years.  During that time there will be 3 1/2 years of worldwide peace.  But it is a false peace, because after the first 3 1/2 years there will be all kinds of earthly disasters.  Earthquakes, famine, hail, locusts, economic depression…this will all be worldwide.  The entire world will turn against Israel.  She will have no one to be an ally.  I am listing far less than will actually be.  Imagine the worst futuristic movie scenario and remove the heroes.  It will be ugly. 

All of the Christians will have been taken out of the world, but God will raise up new ones.  He will appoint 144,000 Jewish people who will convert to Christianity, and they in turn will speak fervently and many, many more people will become Christians during the total of those 7 years.  So God gives the unbelieving a second chance to believe and change their ways.  Jay Mack, who’s study of the Bible book of Revelations I have been studying, says that the revival during that time (meaning the numbers of people who turn to God for salvation and for that relationship with Him) will be bigger than any other revival in the history of the world.  He also states that every person who becomes a Christian during that time will be martyred for their faith in God.  Every one.  They will be hunted with no place to turn or hide.  Because you see, the person who manages to set up that false worldwide peace is Satan’s right-hand man, and after people are comfortable in the peace, he will turn the world on Israel, and on the Christians who worship the same God.  His intent will be to wipe them both off the face of the earth.

After the 7 years is up, Jesus will return to earth in a very miraculous way, defeat Satan and his minion, and set up His own kingdom, which He will reign here on earth for 1,000 years.  And after that, all unbelievers from all of time will face His judgement.  Those who rejected Jesus will be sentenced to what is called the 2nd death, eternity in Hell.  I’m not sure that we really know what Hell is, but it is enough to know that the presence, and goodness of God is not there. Which means there is no thing that is good, loving, kind, joyous, or peaceful there.  Nothing. 

God will then re-make the earth to it’s original perfect state, and His believers, the ones who chose to believe in Him and desired to be with Him and have that relationship with Him, will live there in total peace and joy, in the presence of God, for all eternity.

This is a lot to take in if you are not familiar with the Christian faith.  The bottom line is that if you have not yet made the decision to chose to believe in God and in Jesus, your time is running out.  You can choose to wait, looking for a sign, some sort of proof that He is who He says He is, but that sign may very well come too late.  And then, if you chose to wait, but you change your mind when the evidence of the end times rears its ugly head, you will pay a high price for waiting to believe.  Faith, in its very nature, requires that you make a conscious choice, a choice to believe, or to not believe, whether you see the evidence or not.  But let me say to you, search your heart, and be honest about what you find there.  If you do, you will find God revealing Himself to you and you will know that what I have said here today is true.  I preach gloom and doom because, even though I know that I will be with Jesus in Heaven, so many people I know, and even more that I don’t know, will be here on earth enduring the judgement of God.  Do not put off choosing any longer.  Don’t wait for that sign that will convince you.  Believe now, by an act of your will, by faith.

walking on the narrow path.

walking on the narrow path with Jesus

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It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages hell; it is this at which the demons hurl their mightest weapons. ~ William Gurnall

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