darkness

Many are sensing a growing darkness in the world today. Gone it seems are the days when people could debate and disagree on differing subjects, in a civil manor.

Christian ideals are increasingly becoming intolerable to many in society. Fundamental Christian beliefs like the sanctity of life, same sex marriage, adultery and sin in general are being called bigotry or hate speech, and those who abide by the bible are being demonized.

Two black conservative woman have been censored by Facebook and labeled a danger to society, simply because their conservative views offend the CEO of Facebook.

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 2 Timothy 3:1-5;  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

The above prophecy could be lifted out of just about any news paper, or media outlet today, and in increasing measure. I can see a day in the West, when the bible’s teachings will be classed as bigoted and hate speech.

In Huston Texas, five Christian pastors who opposed a new city Bylaw that mandated genetic males access to girls bathrooms and showers, were given subpoenas to hand over sermons they may have given relating to the subject of gender, and homosexuality.

The subpoenas, sent to some outspoken pastors and religious leaders who had opposed the ordinance, had asked for “all speeches, presentations, or sermons related to HERO, the Petition, Mayor Annise Parker, homosexuality, or gender identity prepared by, delivered by, revised by, or approved by you or in your possession.”  [Texas Tribune, Oct 16. 2014; BY Aman Batheja]

A day may be coming in the West when those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord, will have to make a decision between him, and their comfort, maybe even their freedom. Jesus said there is a cost to follow him. Will we be prepared, will we have the strength to stand when following Christ actually costs us something dear? Or will we deny Jesus to maintain our comfort and security?

Luke 12:4-5, 8-9; I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But 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… 

I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. Jesus

In the United States and Canada, we have enjoyed comfort, security, prosperity and freedom to worship in private and publicly, while other Christians around the world are being imprisoned, enslaved, and even slaughtered for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution,…

The report examined the plight of Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria and Turkey over the period lasting from 2015 until 2017. The research showed that in that time, Christians suffered crimes against humanity, and some were hanged or crucified. [NewsWeek.comCRISTINA MAZA,

The Christian need not be afraid. Jesus promised he will be with those who love him and trust in him completely.

John 16:33; I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – Jesus

John 14:21; Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. – Jesus

Sin is not a game. Sin cost Jesus his life, God his Son, and can destroy your life, and cost you your eternity. Rebellion against God and sin are at the root of all the evil, pain and suffering in this world today. God is saying stop, I love you, trust me, turn from your ways and I will forgive you.

God’s heart is breaking over the rebellion of his people;

Ezekiel 18:30-32; Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!

Matthew 23:37;  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

The new heart and spirit God is speaking of is his. We can’t change ourselves, God changes those who seek him, through his Spirit.

We can’t achieve perfection here on earth, in fact, we struggle, fail, doubt and even rebel at times. I speak from experience. But by the grace and strength of God, we repent and trust again in Him to get us through.

For those who are sincere in their struggle, and sincere in repentance, there is mercy. No one knows this better than King David, who wrote the 103rd Psalm after his adultery with Bathsheba, orchestrating the death of her husband, and the death of his illegitimate son with her.

Psalm 103:2-4, 13-18; Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion…

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone,

and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

God said of David, that he was a man after his own heart.

Acts 13:22; But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.

This is amazing when you remember, God knew everything David would do before he called him to be King, and he still loved him. You and I cannot disappoint God, he loved us and called us knowing every failure and mistake. His grace and mercy is unending to those who truly love him back.

 

Matthew 22:37-38; Jesus replied, You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

James 1:21-22; Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you…

 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

It cannot be any clearer than the above scriptures. The first and greatest commandment is full commitment to God, so if you are questioning God’s commitment to you, you might start with examining your commitment to him.

Revelation 3:15-18, 20-22;I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness…

Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. – Jesus

Jesus encourages believers with a promise to save them, but also reveals that some in the church are complacent, even compromising in their view of sin. This is a sobering scripture.

Revelation 3:4-5; Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. – Jesus

Dark days may come to each of our lives, whether they be health, finances, or persecution, but those who love the Lord have nothing to fear of this world. God is still on his throne. He is God on the mountain top of Joy, and he is God in the valley of the shadow of death. We need only to trust him, love him and obey him, and he will bring us safely to his kingdom on the last day.

John 16:33; I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – Jesus

2 Timothy 4:18Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

How Can I Be Saved?

 

Robert J.

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