A LIFE OF ROSES WITHOUT THORNS

It sounds good. Most people are much more interested in enjoying life than with a lot of other stuff it brings with it. Many people like to go to church and enjoy the fellowship and especially the music and preaching as long as it talks about love or how to help raise your kids, maybe share ideas on being involved in community.

This is all well and fine but what about real truth and dealing with real issues? What does the Bible say and are you going to live by its words? People don’t mind and enjoy feel-good songs and messages but let the thorns be exposed (those nasty parts of life we don’t like to talk about), let us be reminded of holiness and those 10 commandments of God’s word and then the tables turn quickly.

Yet then some well-meaning Christians misuse the law of God in an unbalanced way. God is love. There is no doubt. But God is also righteous and fair and not tolerant of sin inside or outside of the church.

It has been the lack of effectiveness of some that we’ve played with the roses and enjoyed just expressing love and tolerance. Then we are going to get struck good by the thorns that have been created and we will feel the pain of our previous decisions. You can’t have the rose petals without the stem first.

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A POWERLESS RELIGION

Now I know lots of people lump all the religions of the world together as religion but there is a big difference.  Religions can have many different gods but it is Christianity that has only one God, who lays the claim as the True God.

So religion generally doesn’t like the God of the Christians because He makes all other gods inferior and powerless to His majesty.  Now there are some who claim they have only one god, as well, but their god isn’t the same God of the Christians who is also know by Yahweh or Jehovah.

They make up some other name, always connected to some person or people group but not so with the True God of the Christian.  He says, “I am the first and will always be through the last.”  The Christian God created the earth and the universe and even us, the people.  No other god can claim this nor prove it.  But the Christian God can and has. It is only because the others don’t want to accept reality.

So if the other gods of religion are not real, you can find them generally trying to use bits and pieces of the Christian God’s scriptures to promote their own.  But in the end all others are powerless.  Man made idols and false gods have done nothing more than deceive mankind into believing something that actually will lead them away from the True God.

At the end of their life they will meet the master mind behind all the other false gods, that being Satan, himself, who led many astray and miss the Son of God, Jesus, who could have saved them if they had paid attention to Him instead of the fakes.

KNOWING WHAT IS COMING BUT GAMBLING WITH TIME

I believe most of us understand we are living in some very changing times.  Every day we hear of something going on or predicted to be coming that is, or will, affect many lives.  There is much unstableness in political areas, several economic concerns and lots of discussions on how all things, whatever they might be, are going to affect our lives.  And there is no doubt that some will.

From terrorism, acts of lawlessness, dishonest government officials, some latest outbreak of a disease, threats of new possible wars and the list could go on and on.  But this is exactly what is supposed to be happening!  Why?  Because it has been predicted for years, told by those who have read the Bible and have been taught the Bible truths.  Things are not going to get better but worse.

Oh sure, there are some who will reject all these things as just coincidence but some of you know there is truth in God’s Word.  Yet, like I did for years, some still gamble, knowing full-well that with what is happening we are headed for the end of mankind’s way of life here on earth and the return of Jesus Christ in what is referred to as the Rapture or Great Catching Away of the saints.

As the clock ticks, time is growing close and it will happen too suddenly to make the necessary changes.  But yet some of you are still playing the odds that it won’t be today and you still can get by without fully surrendering your life to Christ.  But any moment the odds will completely change out of your favor and then you’ll be out of time forever.

IN THE DAYS AHEAD

From where mankind once was to where we have been evolving.  From where we used to be as a people or a nation is bringing change to us.  There is always change, but the reason for it is what’s important.

Because of the knowledge to build better by inventing new products, machinery, all kinds of various tools and aids we can become a productive society for the good of many others.  But this change doesn’t just affect our outer needs but also challenges our inner ones as well.

By what we have or think we want our desires grow, which greatly affects our character, our moral makeup.  And this is the most critical change of all that can begin to make great adjustments in generations.  This area is what will eventually determine our future as a society, how we evolve will be what we us as the compass to guide us.

So here we are today.  Do we look as though we have developed into a more loving, less problems, peaceful, happy society of people or do we see a materialistic, rebellious, and vulgar society with many more problems?  This doesn’t come from inventing better products.  It comes from having less of the creator of all the things we need.  It is not good to become so self-sufficient that we have rejected many of the principals of the God, who gave us so much of what we have that is good.

In the days ahead there will be a greater and greater price to pay for our own neglect.  We now have a nation of various ideas and agendas who all want their own way.  And in the days ahead there is going to be a price that’s going to be paid that is going to be very costly to society.

Jesus Christ is the only answer.  Unless He is allowed to be Lord in your life then His enemy, Satan, will be.

Our Nation’s Future

This nation has been extended the grace of God, not because of a man, or political party or even some certain church group, but because of the prayers of God’s people that are heard in heaven because God does hear those that are His true followers and will respond.

We must not waste this moment in our nation’s future for only God knows what is coming in the days ahead. The people that are Christian’s must continue to pray and not relent believing all is well for this year or the years to follow.

Now God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of justice and He expects more from His people than just a season of prayer until the trial passes.

God expects His people to continue to plead for this land, America has been given a gracious opportunity to repent and the Christians must continue to pray and humble themselves before God.

We still have a spiritual enemy who wants to destroy this nation and it’s people so we must still pray with the fervency not just in times of difficulties for who knows what tomorrow brings.

So I encourage you do not slack off and forget the challenges before the church because they are still real and only prayer and the power and continual mercy of God will sustain the church of Jesus Christ.

The prayers of God’s people are the fuel that will be needed in heaven to generate the power of God here on earth. And it’s up to the Christians on how much fuel the Christian’s produce in prayer that will produce that brings about what heaven is going to do in the days ahead.

AMERICA HAS BECOME WHAT THE CHURCH HAS ALLOWED

Now I know this is not popular for me to make this statement, especially for people that go to church.  Now a few will agree with this statement.  Others will just blow it off, knowing there is something to it.  But if you will search the Bible and read the accounts of what happened to Israel and other kingdoms who claimed to be founded on God’s principals and then they went and turned their backs on God.  You will see what God does to those who claimed to be His then followed after the sins of the world’s ways, trading them for what the people wanted instead of what God wanted.

Sound familiar?  Today it doesn’t take an expert to see this world has growing problems that are looming larger every day.

God warns His people of the earth today as He did in the Bible during the time of the Prophet Hosea’s day.  In the book that bears Hosea’s name, chapter 4, verse 6, God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because they have rejected knowledge.”  Today people all across the board have rejected the Bible’s instructions; the counsel of God’s Word and replaced it with their own knowledge of right and wrong.

The churches, the Christians, are to be the guardians of society, examples, standing for God’s Word and principles.  And then the people see that the church isn’t much different or sides with them.  When the churches are silent then there will be chaos, then we have a world that is being polluted with sinfulness, and lawlessness.  And until the church arises, this chaos will continue.

THE LORD HAS CALLED

There is an account from 1st Samuel 31 it says “And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said “I did not call; lie down again.”  And he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” The Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak for Your servant hears.”

The same now could be said for we live in a day where God is now calling His servants, saying, “WAKE UP! I NEED TO TALK TO YOU, to use your life – for the day requires it. God’s saying people need to hear my words through my people, my church. But the church in that day had become corrupt. God is today speaking to His true church, if we as the church of the living God will listen and respond.

God’s not going to let this world continue to go on in sin. There is coming a point to the end. Also God will deal with His house, the Church. People need to examine their own hearts. When God’s people don’t stand up, you’ll see that God still does, because He’s always and still is God, regardless of what His people do. God Himself remains holy and protects His Holiness.

NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT IT

When you attend a church service today, ninety-nine percent of the time you will hear a sermon on how to live a Godly life or how to enjoy the life of being a Christian. Maybe you’ll hear about how we are to serve one another and do good works. Of course, there is always the usual service on Easter, Christmas, Mother’s day or Father’s day that are old traditions. There are many sermons taught on the love of God and these sermons have their place but so do other subjects.

Many don’t like the tough subjects like repentance of sins. They’d rather tell people, “Just ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins”. But tell me where that is in the Bible? There is no doubt God is love but He is also just and at places in peoples lives, they’ll have to experience God’s judgements in situations if they decide to be part of sinful activities.

And then there is the greater subject of eternal life. Yes, it is real. All of us will live eternally somewhere, in heaven or hell. And again 99% of sermons on this subject will talk about heaven over hell. Yet hell is just as real.

Jesus had a public ministry here on earth for 42 months. There are 33 accounts of Him speaking on hell. And since the Bible says it can’t contain all the works and sermons He taught, there was surely many more. The Bible mentions hell directly 167 times. Jesus took much more time than most preachers do discussing this issue.

For the pulpits to be silent in such an hour as we live today of the impending event of the great catching away of the church and the great moral decline of society, this topic should have a much greater influence in the pulpits each week.

THE SPIRITUAL ZONE

Isaiah 35:4 says, “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come…” Christians do not serve a sissy God. A weak god that is made up like that of like that of other beliefs, is manufactured by Satan but the true God is just who He is, I AM and there is no other. Cultures, societies, dictators, and kings all have tried to take His place and prove He doesn’t exist or they’re equal to Him but where are they today? Dead, weak, and He still remains because He can. God started the world and the people in it and He remains and always will.

We’re in a spiritual war zone. If you will pursue the things of God, if you will take up the cross of Christ, you’ll forget holding too tightly and letting go of the things of this world and just follow the Lord’s ways, you will not fail. It is impossible to fail God if you are really after Him. You might make mistakes but just repent if need be. Pick up and continue on. That is all Christ asks.

You want to know a good sign of thankfulness for what Jesus has done in a person’s life? It is a life of obedience, to live as God has asked us to. Nothing says “Thank You” more than obeying God’s word and living His commands. Listen to Luke Chapter 3:17; “His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean out His thrashing floor and gather the wheat into His barn. But the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

God will use the days ahead just like He has used others. Through difficult times and good times and even human tragedies, God will accomplish His greater purpose and will bring His children safely home to Him. There is no better place to put your trust, no greater power to count on and no greater friend than Jesus.

DO NOT REMOVE THE OLD LANDMARKS

These words can be found in the Bible in the book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 10.  And there is another verse in chapter 22, verse 28 that speaks along the same lines.  As I read scriptures like these, it makes me think of what is happening more and more in the society of today.

What was once considered sacred is not any longer.  The teachings of our past forefathers and leaders who set guidelines and boundary markers, are today being torn apart because we believe we have, as people, evolved to something greater than the directives of the past; that we need to make new adjustments in areas like the constitution, and core Biblical beliefs.

We have become a nation that is developing new beliefs that make sense to our flesh yet all the time destroying our own soul.  We are now seeing a nation that has turned God into whatever someone thinks about how we as a people should treat others with tolerance when all the time all we are doing is making exceptions for idols and godlessness.

We’re removing from society the very foundations which established this nation as a nation of people with values attached to the only true source of life itself found in the holy God of the Bible.  Now God is whoever someone wants to believe for themselves.  We are a nation losing its true compass unless there is a great awakening once again to the truth of those landmarks that once made us a great nation, we will be lost.