CAN President urges Christians to join political parties, participate in elections

follow link By Adewunmi Abodunrin,

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Samson Ayokunle, Saturday, enjoined Christians at the 57th retreat of the Nigerian Baptist Convention to be actively involved in politics.

The charge which was contained in a statement released by Ayokunle’s special assistant on media, Adebayo Oladeji advised Christians to become card carrying members of political parties and aspire to take over political offices like other concerned Nigerians.

“The practice of separation of State and Church must be redefined. While the State must not be allowed to control the Church, the Church must influence the State through Christians who are in position of power. To get to a position of power, there is need for election especially in a democratic setting like ours. We must be involved in all facets of politics. Politics is not a dirty game as many have come to believe, but those who play politics are the ones who are dirty.

“Sidon look approach will not help us as Christians. Never complain about what you permit’. If we do not participate actively in politics, then we do not have the right to complain about the type of leaders that are presented by political parties to be voted for and voted into various offices. If we must bring back the glory of Nigeria and rise to more glory as a nation, then effective participation is compulsory for all Christians,” the statement said.

While condemning the recent killings by suspected herdsmen in Benue state and other parts of northern Nigeria, Ayokunle called for restructuring the country and for immediate government action to stop the killings.

“There is the need to update how we govern ourselves, thus, Re-structuring the nation after 57 years is a welcome development. It must be done without bias or prejudice to religion, ethnicity, class or group affiliation. For Nation building to be a sustainable force for peace building, it must incorporate more than just the Western appendages of democracy, voting systems, free market development and increase in the Gross National Product (GNP) of the nation,” he said.


Why do bad things happen to good people?

source site Prepared by SundayDesk, 

– Read 2 Corinthians 11:16-33

As we look at this passage, we wonder, “If God is in control, and He is; and if God is all powerful, and He is; why did He let all of this stuff happen to His man Paul? If God is in control, why do bad things happen to good people?

This past Thursday, July 8th, my family and many others, gathered at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to do 2 things. We gathered first, to recognize those in the Sheriff’s Department and in the community who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, this past year.

We celebrated with them as they received the medals and awards they so richly deserve. 2nd, we gathered also to remember those in law enforcement and around the world, who have given their lives to protect our lives and our freedom.

It was 6 years ago, this past Thursday that I received a phone call, telling me that my dad had been shot and killed in Geneva, in the line of duty. Thursday night, as we again listened to the honor guard firing their 21-gun salute, as we listened to the sad wail of the bagpipes and the lump-in-the-throat producing sound of “taps” being played and echoed by trumpets, I thought of the many times I have heard those sounds in the past few years.

I thought of the many times those same trumpets are played for our soldiers each day.

I thought of the volunteer firemen who died in the town neighboring ours, just weeks after my Dad’s death.

I thought again of the teenage girl from our church, a young girl who, with a friend, had prayed to accept Christ in my office.

I thought of her phone call and heart-breaking cry as she told me she had been raped. As my mind replayed those events, the question again came to mind. The question asked by so many, both inside and outside of the church. “If God is in control, why do bad things happen to good people?”

Now, I do not know the mind of God, I cannot share all of His reasons, but this morning I would like to share with you, 7 reasons from God’s Word, why bad things happen to good people.

Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world

Gen. 3:1-19

If you remember, in the beginning chapters of the Bible, man and woman lived in the Garden of Eden, a virtual paradise. There was no pain, no suffering, no heartache, and no death.

Then Adam and Eve sinned. Because of their sin, the whole world was cursed. The deaths we have waiting for us one-day, the loneliness, sickness, pain and disease we endure today, all come because of man’s sin.

People ask, “How could a loving God let people get sick? How can He allow cancer, and strokes, and Alzheimer’s?” My friend, if you buy a brand new car, and go out and rear end someone and wreck it. You don’t blame it on the manufacturer.

It is broken as the result of your actions. The sickness, and disease we endure today, the hurricanes and tornadoes, the droughts and floods, the struggle at work and pain in childbirth all came as a result of man’s sin. They broke it. The world is not like God created it.

The significance of tithe

Prepared by SundayDesk,

The First Tithe (GEN. 14:19–20)
And he blessed him and said,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

1. Abram had just returned from defeating the armies of the four kings, rescuing his nephew Lot, and reclaiming his possessions, and he’s met by an enigmatic priest of God Most High named Melchizedek. The priest attributes Abram’s victory to God—possessor of heaven and earth—and he blesses Abram.

In gratitude to God’s authority and blessing, Abram gives Melchizedek a tenth of his possessions. He doesn’t do it to invoke God’s blessing; he does it in response to God’s blessing.

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Jacob responds to a dream he has received from God by building an altar and vowing that, in exchange for God’s care and provision, he would give God a tenth of his belongings.

What Moses said about tithing

Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it; and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.”

Here we see Moses giving the tithe as a law. The first 10 percent is called “holy,” or set apart, as belonging to God. The Israelites were to return to God what was already his, and in doing so, recognize the Almighty’s provision.

If for some reason someone needed to “redeem” or keep all or a portion of the goods he was to tithe, he could just give money instead. However, the cash would need to be equal to the tithe’s value, plus an extra fifth. In other words, Israelites could give 10 percent in produce, or 12 percent in cash.

When it came to livestock, a shepherd had to set aside every tenth for God. It was decided by simply counting the animals and consecrating every tenth. The shepherd was not to be deciding based on the quality of the animal.

To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting

The Levites served a special function in Israel; they ministered before God as Israel’s priests. At God’s command, the Levites didn’t share in the other tribes’ inheritance. The Lord was their portion and inheritance (v. 21).

Here we see the Lord establishing that Israel’s tithe would operate as payment to the levitical priests for their services.

Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, “When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.”

From the income that the Levites received from the tithe, they were still responsible for giving 10 percent off the top to God.

But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.

The tithe was not a volitional offering. The 10 percent off the top belonged to God and the Israelites simply repaid it. But this wasn’t the only obligatory tithe. They also tithed to support a special jubilee festival (Deut. 12) and took a third tithe every three years to take care of orphans, widows, and the poor (Deut. 14). These mandatory offerings averaged out to about 23 percent a year.

On top of these compulsory tithes, there were regular opportunities for freewill offerings. These were generous gifts that expressed the Israelites’ gratefulness through voluntary giving in response to their devotion.

At a bare minimum, they gave 23 percent a year, but there was no ceiling on their generosity. They could—and frequently would—give exorbitantly out of their excess. In response to Moses’ call for contributions to the building of the Tabernacle, the Israelites literally gave so much that Moses had to command them to stop giving (Ex. 36:2–7).

“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.”

By God’s design, the Israelites were a celebratory people. Part of their tithe went to preparing for festivals and celebrations!

At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.

The first tithe taken annually was used to support the Levites. Every third year a special tithe was taken for the distinct purpose of supporting orphans, widows, and strangers. Baked into God’s law was a special provision to take care of the most vulnerable citizens. Interestingly enough, this included caring for people from outside of their community.

How Israelites tithed

And he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the Law of the Lord. As soon as the command was spread abroad, the people of Israel gave in abundance the firstfruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything.

Because we trade almost exclusively in currency, it’s fascinating to consider what it would be like in a largely cashless society. How do you tithe when tithing means setting aside 10 percent of your grain, wine, oil, honey, and produce?

Bringing in your tithe is quite an affair when you realize that it entails exacting division of actual goods and livestock, and then the responsibility of bringing them to the storehouse.

We obligate ourselves to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the firstfruits of all fruit of every tree, year by year, to the house of the Lord; also to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God, the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks; and to bring the first of our dough, and our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and to bring to the Levites the tithes from our ground, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all our towns where we labor.

Nehemiah is known for rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem as part of God’s plan to restore Israel after a 70-year captivity. Preparing God’s people for temple worship in their homeland required a reorientation to the worship rhythms in the life of an Israelite.

At this point, many Israelites had lived their entire lives in captivity. And while the stories and traditions were kept alive verbally, they no longer knew what it was like to live under the law. Here we have the reestablishment of the Law in regards to offerings and tithes.

Even with this preparation, Nehemiah finds that the Levites aren’t receiving the portion of the tithes that are to be sustaining them (Neh. 13:10).

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

If the world and everything in it truly belong to the Lord, why wouldn’t this principle be true? This isn’t the only time that the Lord promises Israel that he’ll reward generosity with plenty (Deut. 15:10; Prov. 11:25; Malachi 3:8–12).

The challenge is that one must have the faith to give sacrificially to see if the Lord keeps his word.

“Come to Bethel, and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgression; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days; offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” declares the Lord God.

The Lord is angry at Israel, and Amos has come to proclaim God’s judgment against her. It doesn’t matter if the nation of Israel is dependable and exacting in the giving of their tithes and offerings if their behavior negates God’s laws.

In a passage that is thematically echoed by Jesus in Matt. 23:23, God makes it clear that stringent attention to the law in one area isn’t an excuse for license in others.

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, “How have we robbed you?” In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.

Throughout the Old Testament, an offering was something you gave, but the tithe was something you owed. It belonged to the Lord and it was repaid—it wasn’t a gift. On top of the importance of recognizing God’s sovereignty in the tithe, the whole priestly system relied on the tithe to stay functional.

Of particular interest here is the how the withholding of some in Israel put the whole nation at risk of God’s judgment.

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

In his mercy, God desperately wants to use the carrot rather than the stick. If he can, he’ll try to get his people to respond to promises of blessing for their obedience instead of having to bring the hammer of judgement down.

In verse 10, the Lord reiterates the problem; the storehouses are empty. If they would only be compliant, there would not only be a full larder, but they would experience an overabundance of provision and freedom from want. Their abundance would also be proof that God was in Israel, making them the envy of nations.

What Jesus said about tithing

Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The terrible thing about our acts of devotion is how easy they are to twist in order to put our faithfulness on display. Once we’ve made ourselves the object and focus of our generosity, we have undermined the act.

God has always promised reward for the faithfulness of his saint, but Jesus tells us that when you draw attention to your giving, the respect and awe you’ve inspired becomes your reward—invalidating further blessing.

Teaching Your Church to Give

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

The picture here of the religious person carefully measuring out their spices to ensure that their tithe is exact while ignoring justice and mercy is powerful. To show concern for tithing your smallest crops while ignoring the law’s weightier concerns is shortsighted.

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Obviously, the point of this passage is in the faith of the widow to give what she had out of poverty. This is a beautiful picture of trust in God’s provision, and Christ’s response to this act of faith demonstrates God’s feelings toward our sacrifice and generosity.

What is also interesting here is the fact that Jesus went out of his way to sit and watch people give their offerings. God’s interest in our giving isn’t cursory. He recognizes more than we do how our faith is revealed in our habits of giving.

But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

There isn’t parity between Matthew and Luke in everything Jesus says. But this is one of the instances where Luke also records Jesus’ words on a matter. Even to a gentile like Luke, Jesus words that we need to give and be mindful of expressing God’s love and justice is important.

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

The Pharisee in this parable finds his value and justification in his devotional acts. He holds up his fasting and tithes up to God like a badge and thanks God that he isn’t like this lowly tax gatherer. As we have seen, the tithe tied Israel together. It was an offering that was common to all and was used to take care of the nation’s priests, widows, orphans, and transients. It wasn’t intended to make the giver self-righteous and prideful.

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.

With this discussion on Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek, we’ve come full circle. Moses first tells us of this tithe in Genesis, and the author of Hebrews readdresses it as he compares Christ’s ministry to the priest Melchizedek.

The author of Hebrews argues that, although the tithe was supposed to be paid to the Levites, Abraham gave a tenth of his spoils to the priest Melchizedek. And that, through this act, the Levites also metaphorically tithed to Melchizedek. Not only did the priest take a tithe from Abraham, he blessed him. Hebrew’s author says, “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. (v. 7)” The whole chapter compares the priesthood of Christ to this mysterious Old Testament character.

It’s only appropriate that the last place the tithe is mentioned it’s being used to point to Christ’s preeminence.

Bible 20 verses about life

Prepared by Bible Dtu

Bible Verses About Life – Scripture not only talks about the life of human flesh that begins with birth and ends at death, but also about Spiritual life that begins with Jesus Christ and is eternal life after death.

John 11:25-26
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”John 8:12

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 5:2020 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Proverbs 18:21
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 14:27
27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.

Romans 5:10
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 6:23
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Timothy 6:12

12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Genesis 1:20
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”

Genesis 2:9
9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:22-23
22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.

Leviticus 24:17-18
17 “ ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Continuation…Repent of your sins and turn to God!

By James Miller

Mat 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: {20} But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: {21} For where your
treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Mat 7:7-14 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: {8} For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. {9} Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? {10} Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? {11} If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your
children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? {12} Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. {13} Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait is the gate, and
narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Mat 22:37-40 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. {38} This is the first and great commandment. {39} And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. {40} On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Mat 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. {21} There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

Prov 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Matt 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Matt 13:40-42 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. {41} The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. {13} And the sea gave up the dead which were in
it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. {15} And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, {14} “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

John 7:37-38 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. {38} “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Repent of your sins and turn to God!

By James Miller

God has a message for this world and he wants this message  proclaimed. It is the message that was preached by the great  prophets of the Old Testament. It is the message that was  preached by Jesus Christ when he was here on this earth.

And it is the message that Jesus instructed his followers to preach to the entire world. That message is: Repent of your sins, turn away from them and turn to God! Forsake the way of
Darkness and Sin and turn to the way of Light, Life and Truth as found in Jesus Christ. If you do this there is forgiveness for you. If you do not the consequences are very dire.

Turn to God. Commit your heart and life to him. Renounce the Way of the World. Become a believer in Jesus Christ and a follower of His way. Become a Christian. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in
me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) and “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus died for our sins. By his atonement  we can have life if we serve him.

Christianity is about a personal relationship with God: a relationship characterized by a love of God and the following of His way, not from fear, but from love. It is about an allegiance to God, a commitment of heart and life to him. It is about living by God’s principles and rules. It is about following in God’s way.

And what is God’s way? The Way of God  is the way taught to us by Jesus Christ. It is the Way of Jesus. God’s way is the way of honesty, integrity, goodness, virtue, moral purity.

We live in a world that is deeply depraved,very immoral, terribly wicked. God’s way is a way that is diametrically opposite to the ways, outlooks and values of this world. God is a biased being. He is not tolerant of sin. He has a very strong bias against sin. He has created a hell as punishment for the sinner.

The Bible clearly states that  fornicators, adulterers and homosexuals will go to hell. God’s way is a morally straight, virtuous, clean life. If moral straightness, chastity and cleanness are puritanical, then the Bible is a very puritanical book. Someone may ask, “What is  sin?” The answer to that question is, “Sin is what God says is sin.”

He is our maker. He tells us how he expects us to behave. If we defy him and live however we please, it is at our own peril.We have been dully warned. He has repeatedly given mankind warning  of the consequences of sin.

It is eternal hell. There will be a day of judgment when all will be judged. No one will be exempt.
John the Baptist preached a fire and brimstone message of repentance. Jesus preached the same message. We live in a world  that very badly needs to listen to that message. We live in an age of great Christian apostasy. It is everywhere. True Christianity is very hard to find. Most Christianity is nominal Christianity.

People go through motions. They think they are Christians because  they attend a certain church. They trust what the preacher is telling them. The true message of the Bible is rarely heard today. It is just not socially acceptable. It is not politically correct.Hence it has been altered, twisted, distorted, diluted, sugar-coated, or replaced with a completely false message just to make it attractive and popular with the masses. One finds the truth by serious readingof the Bible. That is the only way. You cannot trust man.

Most people have no convictions. On religious matters, they don’t know what to think. They are easily misled. And they are too lazy to think or act. So they go with the flow, follow the crowd. They think they can’t go wrong by following the crowd. They feel, “The majority can’t be wrong.” Well, that is a terrible mistake. That is the road to hell. The crowd is almost always wrong.

Ezek 18:21-23 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. {22} All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. {23} Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, {10} nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. {8} For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, {20} Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, {21} Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:3-12 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; {4} Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. {5} For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. {6} Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. {7} Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

{8} For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of  light: {9} (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) {10} Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. {11} And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. {12} For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

Prov 24:12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every
man according to his works?

Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Heb 9:27 It is appointed unto man once to die .. and after that the judgment.

Gen 6:5-6 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. {6} And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Jer 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? {10} I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Ezek 18:4 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Jer 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope is in him. {8} For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, that spreadeth out her roots by the river. She does not fear when heat cometh; but her leaf shall be green; and is not anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.



Bible verses on feeding the hungry

By SundayDesk

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:

Isaiah 58:10 – And [if] thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness [be] as the noonday:

James 2:14-18 – What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (Read More…)

Proverbs 28:27 – He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Luke 3:11 – He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

1 John 3:17-18 – But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (Read More…)

Proverbs 14:31 – He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

John 6:35 – And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Matthew 25:37-40 – Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink? (Read More…)

Proverbs 31:20 – She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 22:9 – He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.

Proverbs 19:17 – He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

Matthew 14:15-21 – And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. (Read More…)

Deuteronomy 15:7 – If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:

Matthew 25:34-46 – Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Read More…)

Crucified Life

enter Prepared by Watchman Nee

You believe in the death of the Lord Jesus and you believe in the death of the thieves with Him. Now what about your own death? Your crucifixion is more intimate than theirs. They were crucified at the same time as the Lord but on different crosses, whereas you were crucified on the selfsame cross as He, for you were in Him when He died.

How can you know? You can know for the one sufficient reason that God said so. It does not depend on your feelings. If you feel that Christ has died, He has died; and if you do not feel that He has died, He had died. If you feel that you have died, you have died; and if you do not feel that you have died, you have nevertheless just as surely died.

These are divine facts. That Christ has died is a fact, that the two thieves have died is a fact, and that you have died is a fact also. Let me tell you, You have died! You are done with! You are ruled out! The self you loathe is on the Cross of Christ. And “he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:7 Amplified). This is the Gospel for Christians.

Our crucifixion can never be made effective by will or by effort, but only by accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross. Our eyes must be opened to see the finished work of Calvary. Some of you, prior to your salvation, may have tried to save yourselves.

You read the Bible, prayed, went to church, gave alms. Then one day your eyes were opened and you saw that a full salvation had already been provided for you on the Cross. You just accepted that and thanked God, and peace and joy flowed into your heart.

And now the good news is that sanctification is made possible for you on exactly the same basis as that initial salvation. You are offered deliverance from sin as no less a gift of God’s grace than was the forgiveness of sins.

For God’s way of deliverance is altogether different from man’s way. Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. Many Christians mourn over their weakness, thinking that if only they were stronger all would be well; If we are preoccupied with the power of sin and with our inability to meet it, then we naturally conclude that to gain the victory over sin we must have more power.

But this is altogether a fallacy; it is not Christianity. God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. That is surely rather a peculiar way of victory, you say; but it is the divine way.

God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything, but by removing him from the scene of action.

For years, maybe, you have tried fruitlessly to exercise control over yourself, and perhaps this is still your experience; but when once you see the truth you will recognize that you are indeed powerless to do anything, but that in setting you aside altogether God has done it all. Such discovery brings human striving and self-effort to an end (The Normal Christian Life, pp. 35-37).

Continuation… Superficial vs. Spiritual Wisdom

view Prepare by John A Huffman, Jr.

This is the wisdom of the before time, end time and after time. Paul is saying that the most brilliant of persons living in time alone could never come up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, the most brilliant persons who have ever walked the face of this earth cannot, in a clear and rational way, articulate the notion of before time and after time, much less be able to figure out the strange mysteries of the Creator, Sustainer God, who was before time, will be after all time is over and who functions in His triune nature here within the very midst of time.

Eternal truth is not perceived through the eye. We can see nature. It gives us wonderful pleasure. We enjoy art. Some of our most satisfying sensations come through the eye. We can study science. It is dependent upon observable data. However, when we see nature defaced into that which is ugly and observes science gone crazy in nuclear holocaust or physical disease or in legal transgression, we need healing that goes beyond our gifts of observation.

The moral word is not one of expediency alone. The ear can hear the great music, but there is a music of grace that goes beyond that which triggers the most rapturous of aesthetic ecstasy.

The human heart can be filled with enormous piety, compassion and even love, but it cannot ultimately set right that which is wrong.

For all of this, we need God’s revelation of himself.

Einstein could probe the frontiers of science but couldn’t come up with the message of Christ’s substitutionary atonement on the cross, which has healing power for all time and even beyond!

Assertion Four: God has revealed His wisdom to us by His Spirit.

Tell me about yourself. Tell me your deepest inner thoughts, will you? I doubt that you will. They are secret, aren’t they? They are your private thoughts. No one is going to know them, unless you reveal yourself honestly. And no one can make you do that, can they? You can play games, can’t you? And you’ve done some of that. We all reveal facts about ourselves that fake people out. We all know how to do it, don’t we? You can show off the knowledgeable or the ignorant you. You can show the wealthy or the poor you. You selectively choose to reveal what you want to reveal. That is your right, to own your own thoughts. No one has the power to rape your inner private self.

I notice this in my counseling ministry. There are layers on one’s self that a person reveals. Seldom do they get down to the deepest level in the first interview or two. That is one reason why we advise long-term therapy. There is so much about a person that remains hidden.

Paul makes this human analogy when he writes, “For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11).

You have no opportunity to know who God really is and what He is thinking unless He initiates His self-disclosure to you. He has done it. The result is the wisdom of God that you can only discover through His self-disclosure.

Assertion Five: You have received not the spirit of this world but the Spirit of God.

Paul writes, “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13).

Have you ever employed a tutor to teach you things that are simply hidden to your own rational understandings?

Let me reveal something about myself to you. I am not gifted in languages. I have taken three years of Latin, two years of German, two years of Greek and one year of Hebrew twice. In order to pass my required studies in German and in Hebrew, I was forced to employ a tutor. Languages do not come naturally for me.

There are those of us who need someone who can sit down and explain how to do a particular math problem or someone who can explain to you the mystery of aerodynamics.

God has given you a tutor. If you have received Jesus Christ as Savior, you have the Holy Spirit in your life. He is the very essence of God himself, who has been given to you by God to impart not human wisdom, but spiritual truth. The Holy Spirit is not going to supernaturally teach me Latin, German, Greek, Hebrew without my effort. Nor is the Holy Spirit going to do your physics for you or write your English literature paper or even fill out your annual tax forms. The Holy Spirit will give you wisdom that will help you use your time more wisely and maximize the intellectual gifts that are yours. He will help clear your mind, so that you can study. But the Holy Spirit’s primary function is to interpret spiritual truth, so that you can come to Jesus Christ, grow in Jesus Christ, be enabled by Jesus Christ to face temptation, to be gifted in Jesus Christ and used by Jesus Christ in a way that validates your very creation.

Assertion Six: The unspiritual person does not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The unspiritual person does not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit for they are foolishness to him. That person is not able to understand them, because they are “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Why is this? The unspiritual person lives only in the temporal. The Kingdom of God understandings are moronic or idiotic to him or her. The spiritual person lives with a sensitivity to the eternal.

For example, when I teach from God’s Word, if a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior, it will have a tremendous impact on how that person uses their money, sexuality and power; a nonbeliever becomes threatened. An unspiritual person rejects that. They accuse me of going from preaching to meddling. It’s their own business what they do with their money, their sex life and their power. They don’t realize that every good and perfect gift they have comes from the Lord, and He owns it all, and He can take it back at any moment. They won’t let go. It’s theirs. They don’t understand the joy of liberality, that sees one’s self only as a temporary recipient and steward of what God has given. The concept of tithing is absurd. The fact that one could experience joy in giving himself or herself to the Lord and to others doesn’t make any sense. The flip side is that the nonspiritual person doesn’t understand why unlimited money, unlimited sex and unlimited power doesn’t satisfy them.

Assertion Seven: The spiritual person has the very mind of Christ.

Paul concludes the progression of his argument to this point by declaring that a person who is spiritually alive has the Holy Spirit operative in his or her life to the point that you actually have the mind of Christ. He warns, as we will discover when we get into 1 Corinthians 3, that we who are believers in Jesus can quench the Holy Spirit. We can revert back to a previous stage in our spiritual development in which we function as infants, as babies, not ready for the deeper things of God’s Word. But the exciting fact is that you and I are capable, as we are enabled by the Holy Spirit, to have the very mind of Christ, wisdom going beyond the wisdom of the most brilliant person on the face of this earth, because ours in the wisdom of God himself. I may be able to understand the Theory of Relativity or even the physics involved in aerodynamics; but because I am Christ’s and my life is open to Him, I have an understanding that goes beyond the wisdom of this world. And you, too, are entitled to it. You could call it a “spiritual depth perception”-a special capacity to probe the depths of spiritual truth aided by the Holy Spirit.

You see, do you not, we’re talking about the economy of an “upside down kingdom.” God’s kingdom is different than the kingdom of this world. His wisdom is of an eternal nature. The wisdom of this world is temporal.

I invite you today, if you have never received Jesus Christ as Savior, to open your life to Him; acknowledge your need of His forgiveness, His healing, His wisdom, letting go of that false pride, that arrogance which demands that you have your way as one living in the economy of this world’s kingdom. Or if you have received Him but have smothered the Holy Spirit with a blanket of self-interest, elitism, arrogance, pride, doubt, party spirit, admit it for what it is. Stop looking back to a better day spiritually. Repent! Welcome the Lord once again into the very center of your life. Acknowledge how much He loves you and wants you to reciprocate that love. And live with the wisdom which comes from the Holy Spirit! May these words of the hymn writer Kate B. Wilkinson by your prayer and mine:

May the mind of Christ my Savior
live in me from day to day,
by his love and power controlling
all I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
in my heart from hour to hour,
so that all may see I triumph
only through his power.

May the peace of God my Father
rule my life in everything,
that I may be calm to comfort
sick and sorrowing.

May I run the race before me,
strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus
as I onward go.

John A Huffman, Jr. is Senior Pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA.

Preaching the gospel and making disciples By True Gospel 

Near the beginning of the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus Christ foretells that the good news of the coming Kingdom of God will be preached to the entire world:

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

This verse is not a commission to anyone in particular – neither to the first-century apostles, nor anyone else. Jesus simply makes a statement of fact, prophesying that the entire world will hear the gospel preached as a witness and then God will act to bring about the end of this present age of man. Precisely how He will accomplish this He does not specify.

However, Christ does give His disciples a commission – and through them, His church:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20; emphasis ours throughout)

Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20 are not synonymous. In the latter verses, though preaching as a witness is included within the scope of the commission, it actually places more emphasis on the entire process of conversion, feeding, growing, and overcoming than merely witnessing, as in Matthew 24:14.

The term “make disciples” in Matthew 28:19 holds the key to this understanding. “Teach,” as it is rendered in the King James Version, is not a wrong translation, as long as we understand that it implies a process. Not all of the teaching required to make a disciple can occur just in making a witness to him. There are major differences between the witnessing and making disciples. At best, preaching the gospel to the world begins the process of making disciples. Disciples are created through steady spiritual feeding and a believing response in those who hear, which includes overcoming their sins.

A second factor appears in verse 20: “Observe allthings that I have commanded you.” Observing “all things” cannot be done merely through making a witness. Observing all things is a lifelong project requiring the structure and nurture of a church. This is why the church of God exists (see Ephesians 4:11-16).

In verses 19-20, though witnessing is included, Jesus is primarily emphasizing the feeding of the flock (John 21:15-17), for it is the called, the elect – God’s children – who are His greatest concern. These special called-out ones are being prepared to inherit the Kingdom of God. It takes a great deal of feeding and experience with God for Christ to be formed in us (Romans 8:29; II Corinthians 3:18).

The gospel message, then, is more than just an announcement, or a basic truth to be impressed upon unbelievers. It is just as applicable to the converted church member – almost certainly more so. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he commends the congregation at Rome because their “faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). The congregation was already established and apparently thriving. Yet Paul says, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also” (Romans 1:15).

Why did Paul want to preach to them – for them to be converted? No, but to continue the process of conversion. How did he plan to do this? He was going to preach the gospel to them! He desired to preach it to people who were already converted – in fact, to those who were already so well-established in the faith that others had already heard of their remarkable devotion to God. Yet, even though they had already exhibited outstanding Christian faith, he nonetheless wanted to preach the gospel to them. This shows that it is the responsibility of the ministry – apostles, evangelists, pastors, and elders – to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God continually to the church.

The apostle Paul is referring to “feeding the flock” and preaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) in minute detail. The gospel – the Word of God, when we understand it in its broadest sense – includes the entirety of the Bible. God’s focus is on preparing His children to share a relationship with Him for all eternity. He requires that everyone who enters His Kingdom to be in His image (Genesis 1:26) and to live exactly as He does. To achieve this goal, He requires his ministers to expand infinitely on the bare basics that bring a person to conversion. God wants each of His children to see the application of His way in every possible situation in life.

God’s message is called “the gospel of the Kingdom of God” because that is the goal that He wants us always to focus on. He wants it to come immediately to mind that we are headed toward His Kingdom. We not only have to know that it is coming, but also what we must do to prepare ourselves for it. God calls it by what it ends with, what it will produce – the aim, the result.

However, it also includes all the preparatory material that we need to get there, as well as any other information that may be helpful or provide background to those instructions. “The gospel of the Kingdom of God” is a huge umbrella, under which stands a massive amount of teaching. Each piece of knowledge contained in the gospel ultimately feeds into this central truth: that humanity can have salvation by being born into God’s Family – His Kingdom – through the resurrection from the dead.

The gospel message includes topics like the nature of God, the fruit of the Spirit, the Beatitudes, law and grace, loyalty and devotion to God, and other foundational topics. It contains the promises made to Abraham, the history of Israel, and the prophecies. It includes the creation and God’s sovereignty, providence, and intervention in its affairs. The gospel includes everything that is necessary to call, teach, correct, and motivate an individual so that he can be saved and inherit the Kingdom. The true gospel is the complete revelation of God to man. It includes everything contained in the Bible.