Posted in Living in Today's World, Seeking Truth?, The Word

Hated For Speaking Truth

 Recently I spent time searching an online Christian bookstore for a book I hoped was not out of publication.  The title of the book I wanted started with P.  I started my search alphabetically.  The book wasn’t there.  What I did find made me sad and angry.  Numerous books about the subject of prayer.  How to pray, when to pray, why to pray, where to pray, what kind of words to pray, praying for mothers, prayers for dads, how to teach your children to pray and more !!   I learned to pray from the example our Savior Jesus Christ gave to His disciples, the Holy Word and the Spirit of the living God who resides in each of us who claims Christ as Savior.

How many of you, without a thought, will turn on your television this evening to watch the Bible series thing?  I pray none of you!  After all, some very noted preachers and leaders have endorsed.  So, if they say it’s ok…then it is right?  NO!!!!!!!  ( I hear some mumbly, angry words).  If you chose to know more of our Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit— spend time this evening reading aloud  John 15 to the end of his Gospel; or Matthew 26 to the end.  If your heart’s desire is to know Him more, I guarantee John and Matthew’s writings will move your heart.

Hebrews 4: 12-16 

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot * sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
 I would rather place my faith and trust in the  John, Matthew and Paul ( and the other 63 books of Holy Scripture) truth about the One True God;  than in a Hollywoodized, distorted, untruthful representation of our Lord Jesus Christ. ♥ Streim

 the Truth

 

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Posted in Lessons from the Holy Bible, Seeking Truth?, Time for Sharing

Turn About Thursday- “Ketchup, Crackers and Ice Cream”

** I originally posted this message in May 2012.  I believe with everything changing in the world today; especially post modern christianity, it’s well worth printing.  I made some editorial changes, but the content is the same.  I pray the Lord will use His Perfect; Unchanging; Holy Word to guide your walk, however you are responsible for “feeding” on His Word.  Blessings ♥Streim**

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We have all heard the saying “There’s nothing new under the sun”.  It’s true~there isn’t.

I remember when a famous ketchup maker created a brand new, easy open, no mess bottle.  That was nice, however, it was still ketchup in a plastic bottle!  Nothing new about, plus it still made a mess.  I munch on crackers a lot.  One of my favorite brands (won’t use the name–but it rhymes with pits) now has over 5 different types.  Some are supposed to be healthier, like low-sodium; and some tastier like honey wheat.  The interesting thing, they all have the same base ingredients, same amount of calories…and they are still just crackers!   Then there’s ice cream.  I remember in my younger years we had 3 choices–vanilla, chocolate, strawberry.  Then it was chocolate ripple (not new…just mixing 2 together) and Neapolitan (all 3 together).  Now you can get ice cream in so many flavors it’s ridiculous,  but the mainstay for each “new” flavor is vanilla ice cream.  Plus, if you like, you can get it without sugar, reduced fat, or both.  In big containers or bite size portions.  But, it’s still just ice cream!

In my 6 decades, I’ve watched the world change, not for the better either!  Now don’t let your feathers ruffle at that comment, it is purely my opinion.   It may not be yours and I accept that, but this is my blog so I’m going to speak what the Lord has laid on heart.  The Word of God (which at the inception of this nation was a “moral guide”) is what I rely on daily for TRUTH!  Not media, politicians, world leaders, technology, science (even though I have a degree in science) and surely not religious leaders.

I recently read a short review of a book written by a supposed well-known Christian scholar.  This is the review ( minus the author’s name and the book’s title–that will be in another message). 

” Christianity will not be a viable belief system for honest people in the contemporary world, writes  (author)*until it drops a few outmoded ideas–for instance, belief in a supernatural God who reveals Himself from outside creation. (Book title) *continues the work begun in (author’s)* bestselling ( first book preceding this one)*, in which the former (author’s denomination and title)* diagnosed Christianity’s major problems. Here, he offers a vision of what authentic Christian belief might look like today, stripped of theism and all its corollaries (doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Atonement). Christians may come to believe that “God is beyond Jesus, but Jesus participated in the Being of God and Jesus is my way into God.” Readers inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s tantalizing writings on “religionless Christianity” in Letters and Papers from Prison and by John A.T. Robinson’s Honest to God will find much challenge and comfort in (author and book title)*, his most mature and most radical book. “

What does ketchup, crackers and ice cream have to do with this book about “creating a New Age Christianity” (my words)?  EVERYTHING!!  This isn’t the only book, author, Christian scholar (?), church leader, theologian, denomination,religious group to adopt the idea of a  “BRAND NEW AND EXCITING” way to reach the world for Christ.

Reality is…1) they are not trying to reach a lost world for Christ  2)  this is nothing new about their ideology, it’s as old as the first century churches   3)  it’s out-and-out BLASPHEMY!

2 Timothy 4:1-5  says explicitly  “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove , rebuke , exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions , do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ”

John Gill commented on 2 Timothy 4:3:

For the time will come: This is a reason of the solemn charge above given: the time referred to was future, when the apostle wrote, but quickly came on; and the characters of it have appeared more or less in all ages since; and in none more than in ours:
when they will not endure sound doctrine; the Gospel which contains the wholesome words of Christ, and is sound itself, having no corruption in it, and salutary in its effects to the souls of men; and yet such is the depravity of some men, both in principles and practice, that they cannot receive it, nor bear to hear it, turn their backs on it, express their indignation at it, and treat it not only with neglect, but with ridicule and contempt:
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; not being content with the ministry of one man only, or of a few, though of their own sort; but must follow many, and have heaps of them; which seems to express not only the number of false teachers which they accumulate to themselves, but the confused and indiscreet choice they make of them; and that after their own lusts; choosing to hear such as either indulge them in their sinful lusts and pleasures; or are agreeable to their private corrupt sentiments, in opposition to the generally received doctrine of faith. It is a blessing to have pastors and teachers after God’s heart, and who preach according to the word of God; these feed men with knowledge and understanding, ( Jeremiah 3:15 ) but it is a curse upon a people, when they are left to choose teachers after their hearts’ lusts:
having itching ears; always desirous of new things, as the Athenians of old; or loving to have their ears scratched and tickled with smooth things; that are pleasing and agreeable to natural men, and carnal minds; as the purity of human nature, the power of man’s free will, the excellency of his righteousness, and the merit of his works, and the like; see ( Isaiah 30: 9-10) . Now, this being the case, should not discourage, but rather animate the ministers of the Gospel to preach it; for should they desist, in all likelihood the Gospel would soon be gone.

Then in 2 Timothy 4:4

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth:The solid truths of the Gospel, not being able to bear the hearing of them:
and shall be turned unto fables; things idle, trifling, useless, and, unprofitable; and which are no better than old wives’ fables; some respect may be had either to Jewish fables, or to the miraculous mythologies of the Gentiles, or of the Gnostics, and others: but in general, it includes everything that is vain, empty, and senseless; and this is to be considered as a just judgment upon them; that since they like not to retain the knowledge of the truth, but turn away their ears from it, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment, to attend to things idle and fabulous.

 

We all need to be aware of this “new” (actually ‘old’) Christianity lest it “creeps it in unawares” into your life or you church body.  We, as Almighty God’s forgiven children, bout by the blood of Christ, NEED–NEED–NEED– to pray for one another, know the truth ourselves (have the Word in our hearts) and be willing to stand fast in the faith that has brought us into the family of God.

Blessings ♥ Streim

Posted in Lessons from the Holy Bible, Listening To God, Seeking Truth?

Turn about Thursday- “A True Workman”

** I initially published this post very early in my blogging experience.  I desired brothers and sisters in Christ to to be equipped for this 21st century Christianity we have with its great deceptions on every front!  We hear people claiming to be Christians on secular news programs, christian television, christian musicians, etc;  disgracing our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit with lies and chopped up biblical references!  I urge you brethren to be sure what you believe is Truth.  We are only sojourners here…eternity is just ahead! **

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God’s Holy Word is of the utmost importance in the growth of a  Christian’s life, it’s the “food” for our newly created inward man.  So, do we as Christians  SEARCH, STUDY, DILIGENTLY SEEK AND HONOR THE WORD OF OUR GOD as He desires us to?  My immediate answer is NO!!  Now I’m not saying each and every believer is remiss in their time with the Lord in His Word, but in this chaotic, fast paced world we live in, it seems my assessment is close to reality.  Here are some of the reasons I’ve heard people use.  “I am too busy I just don’t have time”,  “it’s hard to understand the Bible, I’m not a preacher”, “I go to church every week and hear my pastor preach the Word that should be enough”,  “I read from my devotional booklet everyday”  and so on. 

My response to all of the above excuses (notice I am calling them excuses here-not reasons) is simple.   First, every minute we live is given to us by God; you don’t have to be a preacher to understand God’s Word, just ask Him to guide you; hearing the Truth of the Word in your church weekly is very important–but it’s not enough and finally reading a devotional is good, but it’s not what the Lord God intended for our lives.  I know this because we are told in Deuteronomy 8:3  “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  Jesus himself quoted this verse to Satan when He was tempted to turn stones into bread.

Paul wrote to Timothy in his second epistle chapter 2 verse 15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  In the Complete Jewish Bible it says “Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of His approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. “

There are three very important spiritual truths in this verse.

First, we need to study the Word of God, not just read.  Study  means to apply one’s mind purposefully to the acquisition of knowledge or understanding and to give careful thought to; contemplate.  Secondly, there is INTENT in Paul’s words here: “…to show thyself approved…”  Approved by man–no!  So that we are approved by God, our Father.  And finally, why this intent study?  Because not only are we His children;  we are His workman.  As His workman we must rightly divide and appropriately understand, apply and give the Gospel to all. John Wesley said “But they that give one part of the gospel to all (the promises and comforts to unawakened, hardened, scoffing men) have real need to be ashamed.”

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2 Timothy 3: 16-17  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  NIV

2 Timothy 4:2  “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.”  NIV

Romans 10:17  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  KJV

Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is , and that He  rewards them that diligently seek him.”  KJV

My prayer is for all believers to become True Workman for the Lord God Almighty and our Savior Jesus Christ.  We must use God’s Word daily to correctly live our lives in this present time.  There are far too many deceivers and wolves in the churches today.  Do you truly know what you believe in written in the Word of God.. or has some ‘person(s)’ told you what you believe.  Hold up everything you read and hear up to the Light of Scripture. ♥ Streim

R. A. Torrey summed it up very well “Do not study commentaries, lesson helps or other books about the Bible: study the Bible itself. Do not study about the Bible, study the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and only the Bible is the Word of God.”