Category Archives: Warnings

Celebrating His Coming: Thoughts for the 2nd Week of Advent – Day 6

And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. -Luke 3:15-18, KJV

person touching sand with right index finger

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Just as John and Paul had people wonder if they were the Christ or a son of a god, we should be setting the example “in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12) and in good works “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

They may begin thinking we are divine, but just like John and Paul, we should be quick to point them back to Jesus. We do good works because “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14), the One who came to earth and out of His love sacrificed Himself for us, and we are merely unworthy servants of Christ.

But this must also come with the warning that you must believe in Him, or you will be removed in the age to come.

There is no good news without first revealing the bad news of our sinful condition. But when we come to see our need for the coming Savior, it will lead to joy and praise of His return as we see the peace brought through His life, death, and resurrection!

Our world today is longing for peace, someone who can save them from the perils we face. They have an expectation that either things will get better or get worse.

May we be ready to respond to expectation and humble enough to point to the One who is coming.

Cleansing Creator and Savior, thank You for saving us. Please give us a heart for the lost, to preach righteousness and salvation, the peace of Christ; and give us a boldness to share the gospel.

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Celebrating His Coming: Thoughts for the 2nd Week of Advent – Day 2

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” -Matthew 3:2

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John’s primary message while baptizing people in the Jordan River was to repent.

Repent literally means “to change your mind.”

Stop thinking the way you do! Stop only thinking about what this world says, and think biblical thoughts, heavenly thoughts! Realize Jesus is Lord of all and Savior of the world!

You may think you are a good person, or that your good deeds will outweigh your bad deeds. But God says you do not understand how much help you need, how great a chasm separates us and Him.

The message of John and all of Jesus’ disciples is “Change your ways! Turn to God! Repent and believe!”

We cannot come to Christ unless we are willing to change.

Great God, thank You for leading us to Your Son. Continue to conform our minds to Your will as we bring others along.


Celebrating His Coming: Thoughts for the 2nd Week of Advent

Welcome to the second week of Advent!

Tradition holds that the second week of Advent is about preparing ourselves for the coming Messiah, with John the Baptizer being our model. This is when our focus turns from the promises to fulfillment of Messiah. Obviously, there is a connection between each week, as we begin by looking out our need for the promised Savior, and then we move to finding the truth of the living Savior.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. -Isaiah 40:3, KJV (see Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4)

John was prophesied centuries before either he or his cousin, Jesus, lived. John is also the final of the Old Testament Prophets. He was the last to prophecy the coming Messiah before Jesus began His ministry.

He was an ascetic – someone who separates from society in many ways through denying comforts and desires, including diet and habits, for religious purposes. (See Numbers 6 to understand more of John’s asceticism, known as the Nazirite vow.) He seemed pretty crazy and weird, but he laid the groundwork for the Messiah.

What did this mean?

He called out sin, decried fame, and [literally] pointed to the Lamb of God, the Messiah.

As Christians – believers in the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus – we are likewise called to point to the Savior. We are to prepare the the way for His return and encroaching Kingdom.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
-Matthew 28:18-20

How are you pointing others to Jesus?

Good Lord, give us a passion for sharing the Good News of Jesus – to call out sin, love people, and glorify Your Name.


Denying the Power

There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men. -Proverbs 30:11‭-‬14, KJV

These words may have been true throughout history, but they do seem especially true today.

Most of the world appears to be on the same page of seeking personal fulfillment, attaining personal gain, willfully ignoring or forgetting the past, assuming their own righteousness, and condemning anyone who disagrees with them.

When we disregard the lessons of the past, we curse our parents.

When we claim we have all the answers and vilify those with whom we disagree, we declare ourselves righteous as we commit the exact same sins (in different ways).

We become dreamers and idealogues who ignore the sinfulness of humanity and the need for God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.

And the solution? Either attempt to eradicate the lower class (poor and needy) or make everyone the lower class. (Or, worse, killing them off literally.)

The Real Solution

Paul warned us such days would come (2 Timothy 3). We have been moving boundaries, reinterpreting Scripture, disobeying authority through declaring it obsolete and even harmful, and throwing out Scripture as antiquated, uninspired, powerless, error-filled, and merely written by men.

But the way forward is to pursue godliness through repentance, faith in Christ, the reading of Scripture, fellowship with the saints, prayer, and allowing the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of the Son to the glory of God the Father. (2 Timothy 3 and 4 expound on these, too!)


REPENT!

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. –Proverbs 29:1, KJV

Do you know that person who is always right, has an excuse, and/or just ignores those who confront them?

(Is that you?)

Most of us do not like being around such people too long (sorry, if you are one.) Living this way can therefore lead to loneliness.

But it does get worse.

Consider the following:

  • Pharoah was told enslaving the Hebrews was wrong, and he refused to let them leave Egypt. He ended up in the bottom of the Red Sea while in pursuit of them.
  • The Israelites were told not to worship other gods, or they would be overrun by their enemies. They were.
  • The Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom) kings were told to repent and reform their countries or be taken into captivity. They were.

Ultimately, though, (you may already know where this is going) if we refuse to accept the gospel, repent of our sin, and allow the Holy Spirit to conform us to Christ’s image, we end up “without remedy” in the torment of the lake of fire.

Listen, then, to Peter: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38) and eternal life.


A True Prophetic Vision

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. -Proverbs 29:18, ESV

A prophet declares the word of the Lord. In that sense, pastors and evangelists are prophets!

But we tend to hear the word “prophetic” and think “telling the future.” There certainly is an element of this, but we must remember the the other part of prophecy: revealing what is hidden … not just the future, but in our lives.

Most importantly, prophecy reveals God’s expectations.

Therefore, a good pastor and evangelist remind people that God has set His expectation for how we are to live (summed up in the Ten Commandments, which are summed up as “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”), and that we will one day be judged by how we have done. More specifically, we will be judged by whether or not we followed God’s Son, Jesus.

The prophetic vision we have is that God has a standard, as modeled in Jssus, and He will be coming back to the earth in judgment.

If we neglect to teach and remind this world of this, people will throw off restraint and wantonly sin, either because they see no need for a Savior (“We’re basically good!”), or because they see grace giving them license (“We can do whatever we want, because God forgives!”)

We are either going to be judged guilty by how we rejected Christ or how we defiled Christ.

Only by believing in and emulating Christ’s sacrificial work – allowing His cleansing blood to cover us with forgiveness and grace to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love – will we be ready for His imminent return.


Politically Incorrect Solomon

A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. – Proverbs 27:15

One has to be very careful these days when he says anything – and I do mean anything – negative about any female.

I’m glad the Holy Spirit was able to inspire Solomon to record this proverb when He did.

On the other hand, how many thousands of years does it take for the statute of limitations to kick in? Senator Dianne Feinstein may have a copy of Proverbs stashed away in her office.