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    steve's Blog
          This blog is dedicated to daily Bible study.

    Sun, Apr 28th - 11:32PM

    Luke 13:25-28



    Luke 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

    There are a lot of people who have been fooled into thinking they are good to go because they go to church, or because they were baptized as a kid, or they grew up in a Christian home, or because they keep certain church rituals but the Bible says unless you are born again (John 3:3) you will not see heaven.  In other words you can do all the good deeds you want, go to church every Sunday, never miss a Lord’s Supper but if you haven’t confessed that you are a sinner in need of a Savior and accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior and been born again as a new creature in Christ you are still headed to hell.  If you haven’t left you old sinful nature behind and accepted Christ as Savior and made a commitment to follow Christ as a disciple being born again as a new spiritual creation in Christ you are still heading to hell.  This is the Gospel, you are a sinner but Christ died for your sins so that you don’t have to go to hell but if you chose to ignore this gift or reject this gift you are still headed to hell.

    I know what I am saying isn’t popular and I know what I am saying isn’t politically correct but it needs to be said because it doesn’t get said enough in most churches and not at all in most churches, if you don’t know Christ you are headed to hell.  This is what the above verses are saying.  A lot of people were fooling themselves because they thought they knew God when in reality they knew of God but didn’t actually know God.  I know of President Obama but I don’t know him because I have never met him or tried to get to know him and that is the problem with a lot of people.  They know of God but they don’t actually know Him because they never take the time to get to know Him.  They are Christian in name only because in reality they have never made a commitment to serve God.  Calling Christ Lord and Savior means you admit you are a sinner and you are in need of salvation and Christ is the one and only Savior and you call Him Lord because your life no longer belongs to you but you have given it to Him and have submitted to His Lordship over your life and have made a commitment to live as a disciple of Christ and submit to His will over your life. 



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    Sat, Apr 27th - 11:59PM

    Luke 13:22-24



    Luke 13:22 And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

    It is God’s desire that all would be saved that is why He sent His Son to die for the sins of all of mankind but so many have rejected His free gift of salvation.  So many live in outright rebellion against God, many chose to deny His existence, and many try to find their own way to heaven.  But there is only one Way to heaven and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is Jesus and Jesus alone who has died on the cross for your sins so that whosoever will accept Him as Lord and Savior can have the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life through Him.  There is only one gate to heaven and that is Jesus Christ and the gate is narrow because only a few have made the decision to follow the one and only way to heaven because so many more are following the broad path to hell. 

    If Jesus is the One and Only Way to heaven than that means all other paths are false and don’t lead to heaven but to hell instead.  There is only one Savior and that is the Lord Jesus Christ all other saviors are false saviors and only lead to hell.  The one and only path to salvation and that is by accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior all other paths are false paths and only lead to hell.  You can never be good enough on your own to earn heaven and you can never do enough good deeds to earn heaven.  You will never earn heaven by following rituals, traditions, sacraments, or any other trappings of religion.  Going to church every Sunday doesn’t mean you are going to heaven.  Being born into a Christian family doesn’t mean you are going to heaven.  Being baptized as a baby doesn’t mean you are going to heaven.  Until you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior and been born anew as a new creature in Christ you are still under the bondage of Satan and headed to hell.  So the most important question in the world is have you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior?  Have you made a commitment to leave your life of sin and be born again as a new creature in Christ? 



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    Fri, Apr 26th - 11:44AM

    Luke 13:18-21



    Luke 13:18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”20Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (NIV)

    The Kingdom of God started out small with Christ and His 12 Disciples but it has grown throughout the world.  It grew because faithful men like the Apostles dedicated their lives to spreading the Gospel and that is how it will continue to grow with dedicated men of God committed to spreading the spreading the Gospel.  You don’t have to be a preacher, teacher, or an evangelist to help spread the Kingdom of God most surveys show the vast majority of people who are Christian came to know God through the personal interaction with another Christian.  In other words it is through the work of Christians telling those in their sphere of influence, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, schoolmates, about God and the need for salvation in Christ. 

    When Christ gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20) it was a commission given to all believers to tell the world about Christ.  Every one of us know someone rather it be a family member, neighbor, friend, schoolmates, co-worker whoever that doesn’t know God and needs to be saved.  That person might have been put into your life so that you can tell them about God.  The question is are you going to be faithful and tell them about Christ and the need to accept salvation in Him or are you going to turn a blind eye as those around you die in their sins and head to hell because they never accepted Christ as their Savior.  There is a lot of big talk in our society today about love and tolerance.  Well I tell you if you truly love your fellow man you want him to know the truth, the truth that if he doesn’t accept Christ as his Savior he is heading to hell.  If you knew the cure to cancer wouldn’t you tell everybody about it?  Well the biggest disease facing mankind is sin.  It is responsible for the spiritual death of millions but if you are a true believer in Christ than you know the cure for this deadly disease is Christ so shouldn’t you tell people the cure? 

     

     



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    Tue, Apr 23rd - 11:40AM

    Luke 13:1-5



    Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (NIV)

    To repent basically means to change your mind. You are changing your mind from a worldly viewpoint to a Godly viewpoint.  You are changing your mind from a person who lived to fulfill his own desires to mind dedicated to serving God and fulfilling His will.  Jesus told the people here if they didn’t repent they will perish.  He wasn’t talking about perishing in a physical sense because we will all die physically someday unless the Lord returns first but He is talking in a spiritual sense.  If you don’t repent you will never see heaven.  Repentance and salvation goes hand in hand.  To declare yourself as a Christian means you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior.  If you are still serving your own worldly desires and living to seek the pleasures of the world then you haven’t truly accepted Christ as your Lord.  That is why Christ said we can’t serve two lords.  A servant can only be the servant of one person, if you are still living for yourself then you aint living for Christ. 

    To accept Christ as your Lord and Savior means you have left your old sinful lifestyle behind and now you live to serve God.  Until you have made a decision to serve God you are still trapped in your old sinful life.  It isn’t enough to believe there is a God or that Jesus is the Son of God, yes this is important but this is the first step, because Satan and his demons believe God is real but yet they don’t serve Him.  To be a true disciple of Christ means serving Christ as your Lord.  That means you give Him lordship over your life.  Your life no longer belongs to you because you have given it to Christ and you seek to do the will of your Master which in no longer you but Christ.  It means you have made a decision to no longer live a life of sin but to serve God as His servant.  It means you are no longer a slave to your sinful desires but a servant of Christ.   



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    Sun, Apr 21st - 11:14PM

    Luke 12:54-56



    Luke 12:54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? (NIV)

    The nation of Israel was an agricultural nation which depended a great deal on the weather so naturally they had grown used to predicting the weather but as Jesus points out although they could predict the weather they failed to understand the present time.  They claimed to be waiting for the Messiah but yet He appeared before them and they failed to recognize Him.  They claimed to follow God but yet He was before them and they failed to recognize Him.  This was because although they claimed to follow God their hearts were far from Him.  They claimed to know the Scriptures but yet failed to understand the meaning behind them.  The Old Testament prophecies were being fulfilled before their eyes and they failed to realize it. 

    Many today are failing to read the signs.  We are in the last days.  Certain prophecies are already being fulfilled.  In A.D. 70 the nation of Israel was destroyed as prophesied by Jesus but Ezekiel 37 prophesied the re-birth of the nation of Israel which happened in 1948 which is a pretty remarkable story itself if you never took the time to read how it all came about.  Especially if you take into consideration just a few years earlier Hitler had tried to eliminate the Jewish people and that many of the people who helped restore the nation of Israel were Holocaust survivors.  After the destruction of the Jewish nation Hebrew ceased to be a language but with the restoration of the nation of Israel Hebrew is spoken once again. (Zephaniah 3:9)  The increase of knowledge according to Daniel 12:4.  Instant communication so that Revelation 11 can be fulfilled.  These are just a few examples but the biggest one is the restoration of the nation of Israel since so much end times prophecies revolve around the nation of Israel and Jerusalem. 

    The Bible says no one knows when Christ will return but God but anybody who does any serious study can see things falling in place for the end now.  We might now when Christ will return but one thing is for certain with each passing day we are one day closer to His return.  The most important question will you be taken away with Christ to heaven with other believers or will you be left behind to face the wrath of God during the tribulation?  Will you take part in the marriage supper of the Lamb of Revelation 19 or stand before the judgment seat of God in Revelation 20 to be cast into the lake of fire with other non-believers?



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    Fri, Apr 19th - 10:56PM

    Luke 12:50-53



    Luke 12: 50But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (NIV)

    The Gospel of Christ turn the world of that time upside down and has been doing the same ever since.  Jewish culture revolved around the Jewish religion and when a Jewish person became a disciple of Christ they were often disowned by family and friends and kicked out of synagogue.  The first people to persecute the early church were the Jews themselves who persecuted their fellow Jews who joined the Christian faith.  It was only after Christianity starting growing throughout the Roman Empire that the Romans starting persecuting the Christians but the same thing happened in Roman society.  When a person left the gods of the Romans to serve Christ he was often disowned by family and friends and could very well expect to be persecuted for his new found faith in Christ. 

    Christ causes division in the sense that the world is divided into two groups of people which is those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior and follow Him as disciples and those who have rejected Christ and serve Satan.  There are no neutrals in this battle you are either a child of God or a child of Satan.  Rather you realize it or not if you aint serving Christ then you are serving Satan. 

    Making a commitment to serve Christ isn’t easy.  Your friends and family who don’t know Christ aint going to understand your decision or your zeal about serving Him.  Trust me if you are zealous about your faith they are going to think you are a religious nut but what they fail to realize is that we have discovered a whole another life.  A life free from the bondage of sin and hopelessness and we have discovered freedom in Christ and the assurance of a better life not here on earth but in the future in heaven with the Father.  When you realize Christ came down from heaven to die so you can have the forgiveness of your sins and an eternity in heaven how can you help not to be zealous about that.



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    Fri, Apr 19th - 12:45AM

    Luke 12:49



    Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

    The fire is the Gospel and it set the world on fire.  It began with the ministry of Christ and once Christ returned to heaven and once the Holy Spirit took hold of the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost they set the world on fire.  3000 people gave the lives to Christ alone on the Day of Pentecost in response to the preaching of Peter.  This is the power of the Gospel and it is powerful becomes it comes from God almighty Himself.  The Jews and the Romans both try to stop the Gospel but all they were able to accomplish was to make the church stronger in persecution.  They became stronger in the fire of persecution and within a few hundred years Christianity would be the official religion of the Roman Empire but sadly this is where the church began to lose the fire when they align themselves with the state.  Tradition and ritual replaced the Gospel under the Catholic Church but they fire was rekindled during the Reformation and exploded under the Evangelical Awakenings of the 18th and 19th centuries.  Today we are truly living in the time of the lukewarm church of Laodicea.  In some places of the world the Gospel is alive and the Gospel is spreading in places in Africa and Asia but in the North America and Western Europe it truly is hit and miss.  Some denominations are more on fire than others and many mainline Protestant churches are literally the walking dead.  They have the appearance of being alive but the Spirit of God has left long ago.  Even among Evangelical churches some are more alive than others.  The Gospel hasn’t changed because God doesn’t change and neither does His message.  The problem is many churches have replaced the Gospel message with feel good messages of prosperity and blessings or a watered down message to avoid offending anyone but if you continue to read in Luke 12 you see how the Gospel message caused division and turned the world upside down because there is only two responses to Christ either accept Him and His message or reject Him and His message.  There is no in between and no neutral area.  You are either a child of God or a child of Satan.  It is all part of a larger battle that has been going since the beginning of time.  If you aint with God you are against Him.



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    Mon, Apr 15th - 11:34AM

    Luke 12:32-34



    Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

    Is Jesus telling us to sell everything we have here?  No of course not.  If we did that we would need someone to take care of us instead of caring for others.  But there is a difference between having what we need and seeking worldly possessions.  I need a house to live in, I don’t need several houses.  I need a car for transportation it doesn’t have to be a luxury car.  When we start seeking possessions and acquiring possessions we are building up treasures here on earth and that is where our focus is instead of seeking do the will of God and seeking to expand His kingdom.  If are spending our time building up possessions here on earth then we are not focused on God and fulfilling His will.

    There are many preachers who will tell you that God wants to bless you by giving you a lot of things and make you rich.  I don’t believe that since the Bible speaks out so much about the dangers of greed and pursuing the things of this world.  The love of money and the things of this world are two of the biggest snares that Satan uses to keep people a slave to this world.  So why would God want to give you things that will leave you focused on earthly temporary things instead of focused on Him.  God does desire to bless you mightily but most of the great things He has in store for us is in heaven not on earth.  The things of God are eternal so why would God bless us with things that are going to pass away.  God is going to destroy this old world someday and create a new earth and all these earthly possessions will be destroyed with the old earth.  It is no accident that those who preach a prosperity message spend little time preaching on salvation and doing the will of God and that is because they and their followers are focused on the things of the world instead of the things of God.  God revealed what His will was for believers when He gave us the Great Commission and told us to preach the Gospel to the world so that the lost may be found and escape the punishment of hell.  That is what believers are to be focused on not pursuing earthly, worldly possessions.



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    Sat, Apr 13th - 11:25AM

    Luke 12:16-21



    Luke 12:16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

    In this parable Jesus is using the story of a man who is a farmer who has had a successful harvest so he thought he was set for the next few years and planned to take it easy but he had been neglecting his relationship with God while he had been building up his earthly treasure.  After being blessed by God with a successful harvest instead of being thankful to God or giving God glory he decided he was going to eat, drink, and be merry and this is the attitude of so many.  They are eating, drinking, and being merry with total disregard to the fact that with each passing day they are one day closer to standing before the judgment seat of God to give an account of their lives.  It is so easy to let the materialistic temporary things of this world to distract us from eternal ramifications.  The things of this world are temporary.  Money comes and go, possessions don’t last or we get bored with them, alcohol and drugs only give a temporary high, sexual pleasures only last for a few minutes but these are the things we allow to affect our eternity.  This man thought he was set for the next few years but God took his life that night.  There are a few things to be sure of in this world and one of them is with each passing day we are either one day closer to the day of your death or one day closer to the return of Christ either way you are one day closer to standing before God.  If you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior you have nothing to fear because you have an eternity in heaven to look forward to but if you are not a Christian you have a lot to fear because your destiny is an eternity of eternal punishment for rejecting Christ as your Savior.



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    Fri, Apr 12th - 11:33AM

    Luke 12:13-15



    Luke 12:13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

    Boy isn’t this in sharp contrast to our modern materialistic society where we often do judge our lives and the lives of others by what we own and they own?  We think we got to have the shiniest rims, the loudest speakers, the newest car, the biggest house, the latest fashion, the newest phone and so on but God doesn’t care about of this.  The things of this world are temporary and a distraction to the true purpose in life which is serve God and do His will.  There are preachers that will tell you that God wants to bless you and make you rich and give you a lot of possessions.  Well this isn’t true.  God cares for His children and wants them to have what they need but the Bible speaks out again and again over the dangers of greed and desiring earthly possessions.  If you continue to read in this chapter you see this very theme where the man built up earthly treasures while Jesus is telling us to build up heavenly treasure.  God has promised us many things for His children but they are to be fulfilled in heaven not on earth.  Why would God promise someone earthly treasures when the Bible clearly says desiring such things is a distraction from serving God? 



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    Wed, Apr 10th - 11:32AM

    Luke 12:10



    Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

    A lot of people are afraid that they made of somehow committed the unpardonable sin.  If you are a believer, a born again saved Christian you don’t have to worry you have not committed this sin and here is why.  The only sin that is going to keep you out of heaven is rejecting God’s gift of salvation in Christ.  In other words you have rejected Christ as Lord and Savior.  Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the only Way to the Father so if you have rejected the only Way to the Father who is heaven how are you going to get to heaven?  In Acts 4:12 it says there is salvation in no other name besides Christ.  In other words the Bible makes it clear Christ is the only way to heaven so if you reject Christ as your Savior then you are un-forgiven and going to hell.

    What does this have to do with the Holy Spirit?  It is the Holy Spirit that convicts sinners of their sin and their need for Christ.  It is the Holy Spirit that makes sinners aware of their sinful lifestyle and of their need for repentance and salvation in Christ.  If you reject the Holy Spirit’s call to repent and accept Christ as Savior what is God to do if you have rejected the only way He provided to repentance and salvation?  God is a loving God but He is also a God of righteousness and justice and God who will not compromise His nature.  He provided a way for man to escape the slavery of sin and the punishment of hell but if man rejects this gift God has given man He has no choice but to send them to hell and really God isn’t sending anyone to hell the person themselves has made the choice of hell by rejecting Christ as Savior. 



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    Tue, Apr 9th - 12:02PM

    Luke 12:8,9



    Luke 12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

    The early church endured fierce persecution after the death of Christ first at the hands of the Jews and then at the hands of the Romans.  The Romans were especially brutal, they burned Christians at the stake, they fed them to wild animals, crucified them, and Nero would even have them wrapped in oily clothes and burned at the end of a stake to light his gardens, he had his own human candles.  All the Christians had to do to escape death would be to deny Christ and declare Caesar as lord but we know many of them refused to do so.  We don’t know the exact numbers of Christians killed by the Romans but it is safe to say it was in the thousands.

    Today Christians around the world still face persecution at the hands of Communists governments, Muslim governments and terrorists groups, Hindu extremists and other groups  around the world but these brave Christians refuse to deny Christ.  The Western church hasn’t experienced this type of persecution in a long time since the Catholic Church try to smash the Protestant Reformation.  We have seen throughout history that persecution often toughen the church of God instead of weaken it.  The people of God learn to trust in Him for their survival and are thankful for His blessings.  We see the opposite effect in the Western church.  Many have become lax and complacent.  We have televangelists on TV preaching prosperity and blessings and we consider persecution being called bad names or our political rights threaten.  Granted this is a form of persecution but nothing compared to what the early church went through or the millions of Christians around the world facing real physical persecution but yet this is often enough to get Western Christians to give up the faith.  Satan is smart and he knows human nature and he knows Western culture.  Often all it takes to get someone to question their faith is have someone call them intolerant, hateful, or politically incorrect.  We don’t want to stand out for Christ and we definitely don’t want to be seen as hateful or intolerant so we start to compromise our faith to fit into society and once we start to compromise our faith Satan has won.  Living the Christian faith isn’t easy and Christ never promised us an easy time in fact He told us to expect persecution but we must stand firm in our faith because as Christ said those who are really to compromise and deny Him before the world Christ will deny Him in heaven.  In other words if you deny Christ you will never see heaven.  Christ is the only Way to heaven, how will you get to heaven by denying Him? 

     



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    Sun, Apr 7th - 11:16PM

    Luke 12:4,5



    Luke 12:4 I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. (NIV)

    The Christian has no need to fear death.  For after death the Christian can expect to be with Christ in heaven.  It is the unsaved that need to fear death.  For after death the unsaved can expect hell.  I know this isn’t a popular subject in our modern society even in Evangelical circles were the new catch phrase is “seeker friendly” which for many churches means preaching a watered down version of the Gospel to avoid offending anyone.  Well some time we need to stir up those emotions because hell is very real and if you don’t have Christ as your Lord and Savior you are going to experience it.

    The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 and 2 Corinthians 5:10 that after death man can expect judgment

    Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (KJV)

    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (NIV)

    Now for the Christians who has lived a faithful life as a disciple of Christ he can expect some of the most sweetest words every, “well done good and faithful servant.”  But those who are unsaved Jesus spoke words that should make every non-believer drop to their knees and seek Christ now,

    Matthew 25:41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (KJV)

     

     



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    Fri, Apr 5th - 11:42AM

    Luke 12:1



    Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

    Jesus was telling His disciples to be cautious of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.  The Pharisees made a big show of being very religious and very pious in their devotion to God but it was all for show.  Jesus knew their hearts and knew that while they made a show of being dedicated to God that in fact their hearts were far from God. 

    Charges of hypocrisy often get threw at the church from un-believers and in a lot of ways they are right.  A lot of times we make a big show ourselves of being very religious but a lot of times just like the Pharisees it is all a show.  Very often we don’t practice what we preach and sometimes the biggest sinners can be found in the church building instead of outside.  You might fool others with your outward appearance of holiness but God knows the heart and God isn’t fooled. 

    And a lot of times un-believers have an unrealistic idea of what a Christian is.  There is no such thing as a perfect Christian.  The disciples lived with Jesus Himself for three years and they still made mistakes even after Christ left them, one example being Peter who had to be rebuked by Paul for falling back into the old Jewish habit of separating himself from Gentiles.  We saw the great evangelist and Bible writer Paul get into a serious argument with Barnabas over Mark who had lost heart and abandoned them on their first missionary journey.  A lot of Christians have this unrealistic idea that once they are saved they will never sin again well this isn’t true.  Satan is going to try to bring the Christian down.  He is going tempt the Christian over and over again to try to get him to fail and sometimes we will.  But as a Christian we know once we have failed God will forgive us of our sins when we ask for forgiveness.  Now this doesn’t give us an excuse to go out and sin willing thinking we can ask for forgiveness later it means recognizing when we do fail we have a Father who forgives His children when they seek His forgiveness.  With all that being said God knows the heart of His children He knows who is truly following Him and He also knows the ones for whom it is all a show.  Like I said you can fool others but God knows rather or not you are truly following Him.

     



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    Wed, Apr 3rd - 11:51AM

    Luke 11:47-51



    Luke 11:47 Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs. 49Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all. (NIV)

    The history of the nation of Israel was a history of rebellion against God.  God chose the descendants of Jacob to be a chosen people for Him and He rescued them out of Egypt were they were slaves and personally led them through the desert but they complained and rebelled against God until He made them to wander the desert for 40 years until the generation that was led out of Egypt had passed away and God led the next generation into the Promised Land.  But yet once they settled the Promised Land their hearts began to wander from God and a pattern began to emerge, the nation of Israel would wander from God, God would send a prophet to warn them to repent but often the prophet was ignored or worse murdered for his message, God would punish them by allowing another nation to oppress them, they would repent and God would rescue them but after being rescued they would begin to wander away again and the cycle would start over again.  After the death of King Solomon the Kingdom of Israel was split in two and became the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.  Israel never followed God but followed idol worship and God let the Kingdom of Assyria conquer Israel and lead the ten northern tribes away to be never heard of again.  They became the 10 lost tribes of Israel.  The Kingdom of Judah had an off and on relationship with God.  If they had a good king he would lead them in worshipping God but if they had an evil king he would lead them away from God.  Eventually God allowed the Babylonians to conquer Judah and lead the people into captivity.  After 70 years the people were released to return to Israel but the people of Israel remained in captivity under the Persians, then the Greeks, and now under the Romans in the time of the New Testament.

    Jesus was telling the Pharisees they believed themselves righteous because they were the children of God but yet their ancestors had rebelled against God and killed His prophets and now God Himself was among them but yet they refused to recognize Him or worship Him and God was going to punish them for their final rebellion against Him and in A.D. 70 during the Jewish rebellion against the Romans Rome destroyed the nation of Israel.  They destroyed the temple and drove must of the Jews from the land of Israel but in 1948 according to an end times prophecy the nation of Israel was reborn.  God hasn’t forgotten the Jewish people.  They rejected their Savior and God punished them for it but when you read the end time prophecies you see during the tribulation God gives the Jewish people another chance and the Jewish people and the nation of Israel play a major role in the end time events.  God is a loving God and patient God but God is also a God of righteousness and justice and by His nature will not tolerate rebellion forever.  Mankind was given a Savior and sadly most of mankind has rejected the Savior and God has been patient with mankind for almost 2000 years but His patience has an end and a time is coming when God will punish those who have rejected His gift of salvation.



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    Mon, Apr 1st - 11:29AM

    Luke 11:37-40



    Luke 11:37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.39Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? (NIV)

    The Pharisees made a big show of being religious but in reality their hearts were far from God.  The religion of the Pharisees was an empty religion of rituals, traditions, and laws while Jesus knew their hearts and knew their hearts were far from God.  While they made a show of being pious in their worship in fact they didn’t know God because God himself was before them and they refuse to recognize Him or worship Him.

    So many churches and Christians today have fallen into the same trap of following an empty religion of sacraments, rituals, and traditions while in reality their hearts are far from God and they don’t know Him.  As the say goes “Christianity is a relationship not a religion.”  It is a personal relationship with Christ were you have admitted you are nothing but a wretched sinner without Him and you recognize Him as your Lord and Savior and you make a lifelong commitment to follow Him as a disciple of Christ.  God is no longer some abstract being but He is now Father.  As Christ said those who worship God must do so in spirit and in truth.  So many churches are dead or dying because they have neglected the Spirit of God and replaced Him with empty rituals, traditions, and worldliness.  The Holy Spirit is just as live today as He was in the New Testament for those who seek Him.  It is through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that true worship of God takes place, a worship empty of empty ritualism but replaced with true heartfelt worship of God.   

     

     



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