Monday, January 22, 2018

What the Bible Says About Immigration

There is much debate and consternation about immigration today. Yet, God with great wisdom tells us  how to deal with the matter.. You will discover His instructions are fair and just for both parties.

In scripture God addressed the nation's leaders, telling them to treat immigrants/strangers fairly.  They were told not to oppress them with unjust laws but He also told immigrants to obey the nation's laws.

Let's see how God would counsel today's leaders on immigration:

Number 1: God wants immigrants to be treated fairly and not oppressed by the legal system.

Exodus 23:9  Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt

Leviticus 19:33  And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.

Leviticus 19:34  But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Number 2: Since the nation is wealthy, God instructs it to provide financial assistance to poor immigrants when needed. The assistance isn't lavish but appears to provide for basic necessities.

Leviticus 25:35  And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

Number 3: Immigrants must adhere to the nations laws.

Exodus 12:49  One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
Leviticus 24:22  Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God

Number 4: God designated sanctuary cities or cities of refuge for immigrants to flee to until they appeared in court for alleged crimes.

Numbers 35:11  Then ye shall appoint  you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.

Number 5: Immigrants should embrace Christian principles.

Leviticus 18:26  But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations, either the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.

Please visit the Blog Study Aids page for more information on this topic.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Why You Should Stop Being So Easily Offended

Due to today's political environment many are saying we are living in the last days. A fellow said he realized we are living in the last days, when Donald Trump was elected and named his motorcade limo "The Beast."

I haven't told him yet, but it looks like the beast was made and named in 2015 when Obama was president.

So because the president rides in a limo called the beast may not be a sign we are living in the last days. But I am sure about one thing occurring in society that proves we are living in the last days, it is the rise of "offence".

In Matthew 24:10, Jesus said, "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."

Notice the verse said "many shall be offended."

Can we say many are "offended" these days? People become offended by many things. Leaving some of us wondering what in the world is going on.

I can't begin to name some of the minor things people get offended about.

But it appears that different opinions on sexuality, politics and theology are major issues that cause people to become offended.

People actually hate you and want to destroy you if you don't agree with them.

They want to see you suffer financially or die if they are offended by your viewpoint or interpretation of events or spoken words.

This wasn't always so!

There was a time when friends and co-workers disagreed about political candidates and worldviews and could still remain friends or work together.

But now if you have a different view your friends may hate you and your boss will fire you. People may boycott your business/ product or threaten to kill you.

Seems rather beastly, that is below human intelligence and acumen to want to kill and destroy someone because they prefer one candidate over another or believes certain laws are right and certain laws are wrong.

The Mark of the Beast

Is the spirit of offense the mark of the beast? Thayer's Greek Definitions says, beast means, a wild animal, and metaphorically a brutal, bestial man, savage, ferocious.

Revengeful savagery seems to be the way many deal with offense and differences. Filled with hatred, they seek to destroy you. They want to ruin your life.

In their mind you have no right to pursue life, liberty and happiness if you disagree with them.

However, Jesus warned the disciples not to be offended (John 16:1).

Strong's Bible Dictionary says, offend means To “scandalize” to entrap, that is, trip up, figuratively stumble or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure, (make to) offend.

It looks like an offended person falls into a trap that causes him or her to sin. The sin may be in word or deed. However, offense begins or ends with the offended party. As one may reject an offensive action if desired.

Scripture says, a cruel person troubles his own flesh (Proverbs 11:17). A cruel, beastly, savage person lives in torment, as cruelty becomes a self-afflicted wound.

Let's love God, love each other and love God's word as scripture says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Psalm119:165 

Let's avoid being so easily offended, we can make the world a better place by doing so.

Monday, January 8, 2018

5 Encouraging Scriptures About Hope

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Psalm 147:11 But the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Romans 5:2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Rediscovering Your "Go" for the Gospel of Jesus Christ

In Mark 16:15, Jesus tells us to, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Some of us have stopped going for various reasons. In order to get going we need to determine why we are not going. 

Do you have the wrong priorities?

Are you spending your time socializing and partying? 

Romans 13:13 So behave properly, as people do in the day. Don't go to wild parties or get drunk or be vulgar or indecent. Don't quarrel or be jealous.

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

Are you afraid?

Don't be afraid because He is with you!

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Do you fear what others will say or how they will react?

They may give you weird looks but do what He has called you to do anyway.

Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.

Have you lost interest in soul winning? 

This happens when we lose our fervor and first love for Jesus? He knows it happens and wants us to repent and return to Him. When we return to Him we will return to "going." 

Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Revelation 2:5  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

You don't know where to go?

Go to homeless shelters or anywhere you see the homeless. Go to hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, child abuse and neglect centers.

Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. 

Now let's get going because "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Blasphemy and Atheism

Scripture says, all sins are forgivable but one. Do you know which one? Just in case you don't know it is the sin of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, even if you blaspheme His name it will be forgiven but if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven.

So, what is "blasphemy?" In general, blasphemy is evil speaking. Fausset's Bible Dictionary says, Blasphemy is a "railing accusation against someone.

Railing is basically verbal abuse. In modern terms railing means to scold, lambaste, rant, censure or berate.

So, one can blaspheme the president, husband, wife, friend or foe, preacher, article writer, television journalist, store clerk, parent, etc. This type of blasphemy will be forgiven.

What about blaspheming God? Strong's Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries, says, blasphemy is "vilification (especially against God) evil speaking and railing."

Blasphemy is common among atheists, they vilify Him, they rant, rave and lambaste Him especially when it comes to His claims to ownership/creation of mankind which gives Him the authority to tell them what they can and cannot do, with their bodies. They deny the fact that the bible is God's testimony to mankind. Testimony is a legal term referring to a "solemn declaration or affirmation for the purpose of establishing or proving a fact." With the bible we have God declaring himself to be a witness to the facts stated in scripture. (1 Corinthians 2:1, Psalm 19:7)

To deny the texts, its laws, precepts, commands and statues, is to call God a liar. This is blasphemy.

Jesus said, David inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote Psalm 110:1. Peter said in, 2 Peter 1:21 that the prophets of old spoke by the Holy Spirit. So, in essence to attribute the bible and the Holy Spirit's work as the work of mere man and not worthy of honor or obedience, is blasphemy.

Not only do their words and beliefs keep atheists from experiencing God's saving grace represented by Jesus' shed blood, they may prevent others from experiencing God's saving grace as well. As some are lured away from God by the atheist's words and views. Perhaps if they kept their views to themselves they would only be responsible for their own souls but if they lure (Luke 17:1) others away with their ideology they will be responsible for those souls as well.(Ezekiel 3:18, 33:8)

All sins of blasphemy is punishable by God but He is patient and merciful when rendering judgment because He wants all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9).

Evil speaking, evil blogging, evil trolling, evil Facebook posts and Youtube videos should not be taken lightly. Don't speak evil of things you don't understand or know about. I knew a man who claimed to be an atheist but had never read the bible. How can you seek to discredit a book you haven't read. Jesus will judge sinners for their ungodly deeds and "all their hard speeches spoken against Him (Jude 1:15). Two things are certain you will die and you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Avoid the Curse of Unbelief

Paul said, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" (1 Corinthians 16:22). Anathema means cursed. There is a curse upon those who do not believe the word and love Jesus. Atheists don't believe in curses or blessings, heaven or hell, God or Satan but that doesn't nullify their existence nor keep them from joining Satan in his abode since they chose to follow him. (John 8:44, Matthew 25:41)

Sometime ago, a friend dreamed he died and went to hell. He said, while the demons were pushing and dragging him into hells flames, they were laughing at him saying, "you've been had", "you've been had." Although he had read the bible, he did not believe certain parts of it and discounted large portions of it. So, the spirits that encouraged him to doubt the validity of scripture mocked him for believing their lies.

I was surprised to discover many atheists used to be believers/Christians. Although surprised, I shouldn't be as scripture says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1).

I pray you will never hear demons laughing and mocking you saying "you've been had" because you hardened your heart and failed to believe the bible is trustworthy and that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

4 Things to Know About the Name of Jesus

We are Adopted into God's family because of his Name while some remain children of the Devil (John 8:44).

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Sons of God - Children of God by adoption. Christians are called sons of God:

1. Because they are “adopted” by Him, 1 John 3:1.

2. Because they are “like Him;” they resemble Him and have His spirit.

3. They are united to the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, are regarded by Him as his brethren Matthew 25:40, and are therefore regarded as the children of the Most High.

On his name - This is another way of saying believeth in “him.” The “name” of a person is often put for the person himself, John 2:23; John 3:18; 1 John 5:13. From this verse we learn:

1. That to be a child of God is a privilege - far more so than to be the  child of any human being, though in the highest degree rich, or learned, or honored. Christians are therefore more honored than any other persons.

2. God gave them this privilege. It is not by their own works or deserts; it is because God chose to impart this blessing to them, Ephesians 2:8; John 15:16.

3. This favor is given only to those who believe on him. All others are the children of the wicked one, and no one who has not “confidence in God” can be regarded as his child. No parent would acknowledge one for his child, or approve of him, who had no confidence in him, who doubted or denied all he said, and who despised his character. Yet the sinner constantly does this toward God, and he cannot, therefore, be called his Son. (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible)

There is Salvation in His Name:

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Neither is there salvation - The word “salvation” properly denotes any “preservation,” or keeping anything in a “safe” state; a preserving from harm. It I signifies, also, deliverance from any evil of body or mind; from pain, sickness, danger, etc., Acts 7:25. But it is in the New Testament applied particularly to the work which the Messiah came to do, “to seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10. This work refers primarily to a deliverance of the soul from sin Matthew 1:21; Acts 5:31; Luke 4:18; Romans 8:21; Galatians 5:1. It then denotes, as a consequence of freedom from sin, freedom from all the ills to which sin exposes man, and the attainment of that perfect peace and joy which will be bestowed on the children of God in the heavens. (Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible

There is the Remission of Sin In His Name:

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Thayers' Greek Definition: Remission

1) release from bondage or imprisonment

2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty

We are Baptized In Jesus Name:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Repent, and be baptized. For the first time the terms of pardon under the New Covenant and the Great Commission are given; given once for all time, and always the same. The convicted, broken-hearted, sorrowing sinner, believing that Jesus is the Christ, is to repent and be baptized.

Repent. Not sorrow. They already sorrowed; but a change of purpose; the internal change which resolves to serve the Lord. The Greek term rendered repent, means a change of mind. The act of obedience in baptism is an outward expression of both faith and repentance.

In the name of Jesus Christ. "Upon the name" (Revised Version). Upon the ground of the name. In submission to the authority of Jesus Christ.

For the remission of sins. Thus, by complying with the conditions just named, they shall receive remission of sins. No man can receive pardon without faith and repentance, nor can he without submission to the will of Christ. "Eis (for) denotes the object of baptism, which is the remission of the guilt contracted in the state before metanoia (repentance)."--Meyer. "In order to the forgiveness of sins we connect naturally with both the preceding verbs. This clause states the motive or object which should induce them to repent and be baptized."--Prof. Hackett.

The gift of the Holy Spirit. Promised as a comforter to all who obey Christ, but whom "the world cannot receive. (The People's New Testament, BW Johnson)