From the Pastor's Desk
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September 15, 2018, 2:39 PM

The Greatest Dinner is Yet To Be Had And You Are Invited!


Luke 14:15-24 And when one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, "Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" 16 But He said to him, "A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; 17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.' 18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.' 19 "And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.' 20 "And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.' 21 "And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.' 22 "And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.' 23 "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'’

Do you want to be blessed?

Do you want to help give others opportunity to be blessed?

Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"

God so loved the world…John 3:16 Whosoever will…It is not God’s will that any should perish but have everlasting life.

A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many.

The invitation is given, the dinner hour is upon us, it is imminent!

Are you a servant of God? Are you going out and spreading his invitation to all the who-so-evers you can?

At the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'

Our responsibility is to give the invitation to share the good news of the greatest banquet dinner ever served and offered to all, no matter color, social status, race, or any other difference or similarity.

We must not become disheartened because of all the excuses. Not all will accept, but whosoever will accept will have eternal life and abundant life here! Don’t be surprised, discouraged, delayed or offended by all the excuses!

They all alike began to make excuses, petty excuses. We do our part to speak the truth in love, give the true message of the good news of Jesus Christ. When we are insulted, mocked, rejected, criticized, ignored, lied on, jailed or killed for his sake we tell God and he rises to take care of us and his Word will not return void.

The slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry. God will have a people who love and serve him. God is not prejudice like many people. He doesn’t care about some of the things people value. He takes the worse of the worse, those who are tossed the rubbish heap of society and he cleans them and fills them up with his Word and they become trophies of his grace. He lifts them to highest heights and takes pleasure in their company. He takes the rag-tags of this world, who are many of us and puts us in heavenly places!!! Perhaps some of you are of that number!!! Praise the Lord. 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame. There is always room.

This still has to do with bringing everyone who will come…All who is thirsty. 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges. We are to urge/compel them, to show the beauty of, to explain the winning choice! Share the Good News as it is the good news! Who doesn’t need good news?

God wants a full house! God should have a full house. compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Unless one believes in the only begotten Son of God, he cannot be saved! He must prepare to to be received into the wedding.

First one accepts the invitation…NO EXCUSES. none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'’

Rest of story found in…Matthew 22:10-14 "And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes, 12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." We must have on the wedding garment! 

The wedding garment must be HIS garment!




September 4, 2018, 2:26 PM

Priorities to Live By 8/26/18


We live in a culture where the human physique is almost worshipped. We continually hear of the many ways to strengthen and preserve the human body. While we recognize that our body is the temple of God, we also remember that our body will return to the dust from where it was taken.

Compared to the emphasis that is placed on the body, there is a lack of emphasis placed on the eternal spirit of humankind. The fact that our spirit will have an eternal abode, either in heaven or hell should alert and alarm each one of us to the reality and lead to spiritual health emphasis.

One tactic of our adversary continually works toward us to refocus our priorities on the lesser good. While bodily exercise profits a little, spiritual alertness and health is of the utmost importance. One may be able to get along in this world at least to some extent without proper focus, truth and discipline, but unless we are groomed for eternity we will come up woefully lacking. What a horrible crime against our own person and our God. What horrible repercussions for those who focus their greatest priority on their flesh that will eventually go back to the dust without putting proper emphasis on the soul of man that never dies.

The call goes out to one and all for preparation to be made so that we ready ourselves for our eternity. Let not our eternal obituary read;  “Died without knowing and surrendering to the Creator and God who gave his Son so that all humankind could have eternal life.” What a sad commentary for the many in this world who are rejecting the free gift of God which is eternal life in Christ Jesus as well as the abundant life and peace which is offered through Him who loved us the most, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus indeed is the greatest friend of sinners. It is scarce that one will die for a good man; some might even die for a righteous man, but Christ Jesus the Lord died for us while we were yet his enemy and sinners. Our Eternal Creator gave his life freely while we were yet sinners so that we could be saved from the punishment which will come on all who do not know God as their Savior and Lord.

God’s will does not keep good from us but rather, freely bring good gifts and eternal life to us.

Are you in line to receive the greatest gift ever given? Jesus Christ, our Savior is the greatest gift one can receive! The Scripture asks a question; “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” The Scripture also teaches that the greatest sin is the sin of unbelief against God; that unbelief is demonstrated by refusal to accept Jesus Christ as your own Savior and Lord.

Where is your beliefs and confidence? Is it in your own self, your own will and wisdom? If you continue in this path you will come up woefully short and eternal life will only be as a dream for you.

Instead of seeking to have a buff body with great emphasis on energy, looks and physical health, why not put your greatest emphasis where it belongs?

It is often when we take care of the greatest needs that our lesser needs are most sure to be met. If one lives 100 years, if one gains the whole world and loses his own soul, what profit is it to him? The rich young ruler was instructed to sell all he had and give it to the poor and come follow Jesus. Yet he held on to his stuff, trying to preserve everything for himself. It is to one’s own regret, for in the end, a person who places greater emphasis on himself and his personal stuff will ultimately be lost and doomed. This man is like the man who built his house on a sandy foundation. Every house will experience the storm and challenges of turmoil and eventually death, yet the wisdom of God is to teach us to prepare for that day. Unlike the rich man’s decision and priority, you can prepare and be ready. Even if we are like Lazarus, the poor beggar who pleaded for crumbs from the rich man’s table. Scripture tells us that he died and was taken to a place of eternal comfort, joy and rewards.

Why would one be so foolish to trade an eternity with thousands and millions of years of peace, rest, rewards and great joy for only a few years here with trouble?

Every one of us should live our lives and make our decisions based on the truth of God‘s eternal Word that is given to us for wisdom and knowledge so that we can gain abundant life here as well as eternal life with our Lord and Savior forever and ever.

What is your choice? Your soul is in your own hands.




September 4, 2018, 2:23 PM

The Greatest Dinner is Yet To Be Had....You Are Invited! 8/22/18


Luke 14:15-24  And when one of those who were reclining at the table with Him heard this, he said to Him, "Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"  16 But He said to him, "A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many;  17 and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'  18 "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, 'I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.'  19 "And another one said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.'  20 "And another one said, 'I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'  21 "And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'  22 "And the slave said, 'Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'  23 "And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  24 'For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'’

Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to help give others opportunity to be blessed? Blessed is everyone who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"

God so loved the world…John 3:16 Whosoever will…Not God’s will that any should perish but have everlasting life. A certain man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many.

The invitation is given, the dinner hour is upon us, it is imminent! Are you a slave/servant of God? Are you going out and spreading his invitation to all the who-so-evers you can?   …at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, 'Come; for everything is ready now.'

Our responsibility is to give the invitation. To share the good news of the greatest banquet dinner ever served and offered to all, no matter color, social status, race, or any other difference or similarity. We must not become disheartened because of all the excuses. Not all will accept, but whosoever will accept will have eternal life and abundant life here! Don’t be surprised, discouraged, delayed or offended by all the excuses! …they all alike began to make excuses, petty excuses.

We do our part to speak the truth in love, give the true message of the good news of Jesus Christ. When we are insulted, mocked, rejected, criticized, ignored, lied on, jailed or killed for his sake we tell God and he rises to take care of us and his Word will not return void.                                   

The slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry.

God will have a people who love and serve him. God is not prejudice like many people. He doesn’t care about some of the things people value. He takes the worst of the worst, those who are tossed to the rubbish heap of society and he cleans them and fills them up with his Word and they become trophies of his grace. He lifts them to highest heights and takes pleasure in their company. He takes the rag-tags of this world, who are many of us and puts us in heavenly places!!!  Perhaps some of you are of that number!!!  Praise the Lord.                                        'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.

There is always room ….room for all.

Still there is room…

This still has to do with bringing everyone who will come…All who is thirsty.

'Go out into the highways and along the hedges.

We are to urge/compel them, to show the beauty of, to explain the winning choice! Share the Good News as though it is good news! Who doesn’t need good news? God wants a full house! God should have a full house.

Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 

Unless one believes in the only begotten Son of God, he cannot be saved! He must prepare to be received into the wedding. First one accepts the invitation…NO EXCUSES.

None of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.'’

Rest of story found in…Matthew 22:10-14   "And those slaves went out into the streets, and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.  11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw there a man not dressed in wedding clothes,  12 and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And he was speechless.  13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'  14 "For many are called, but few are chosen."

We must have on the wedding garment! That wedding garments must HIS garment!




August 28, 2018, 11:51 AM

What the Bible Really Says About Women in Ministry


 

Old Testament Scripture References

Four righteous women are called by the title prophetess. The Hebrew word for prophet is “nabi.” The same word with a female ending is “nabiah,” thus prophetess.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28­­–29.

Peter preached that the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, a few days after Jesus’ ascension, was fulfillment of a prophecy in Joel. Peter said, “But this is that which hath been spoken through the prophet And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams: Yea and on My servants and on My handmaidens in those days Will I pour forth of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” Acts 2:16–18

Notice that the phrase all flesh is immediately defined afterward by several merisms which establish that the Spirit will be poured out on everyone who belongs to God. Daughters and handmaidens are specifically mentioned. The prophecy of Joel 2 includes male and female, old and young, rich and poor. “My Spirit” upon “My servants” clearly means all of the people of God. The phrase “they shall prophesy” therefore also refers to all God’s people upon whom the Spirit is poured out. Joel prophesied that these would receive the empowerment of the Spirit, and Peter, under the inspiration of the same Spirit, added that they will speak words given to them by God to speak. The Old Testament prophecy, fulfilled from the time of the apostles will last until the final judgments upon the earth, as the final three verses of Joel 2 makes clear, and as Peter reaffirmed by including these verses in his sermon in Acts 2. Peter’s Pentecost sermon sets the normal mode of operation for ministry in the church. Even Gentiles are not excluded, as Peter would later come to fully realize (Acts 10:34).

Women Prophets, Ministers and their ministry:

Deborah:

Judges 4:4 and chapter 5. She judged the people of Israel. She held court under the Palm of Deborah … in the hill country of Ephraim. The Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. She did not decide cases merely by her own wisdom, but she would give them a word from God. She gave Barak words from the Lord and with that command; Barak was able to lead Israel to victory. Many point to this example and try to assert the supposition that Deborah was used, because a man wouldn’t go. However, a full examination of the account reveals that a man did go, but the Word of God still came through the ministry of Deborah, the prophetess. God did not use Deborah, because He was without “better” resources; God used Deborah, because He chose to. Since all that God does is unquestionably perfect, there is no other logical conclusion than that she was the best choice to be the chief minister over all of Israel.

Huldah:

Huldah’s prophecies are recorded in 2 Kings 22:14-20,

King Josiah was repairing the temple, which Manasseh had closed, and a copy of the Book of the Law was discovered. Josiah wanted to inquire of the Lord about what was written. He called Huldah, the prophetess because she was a faithful and true spokesperson for the Lord. She also served in the presence of men prophets during her time. (2 Chron. 34:22–28). Again, the ministry of the prophetess was not a one-time “desperation move” by God, but a call to a chief position placed on a woman for ministry. In Huldah’s case, she was summoned by Josiah, clearly the most righteous of all the kings in Israel’s history. It was in the wake of a great revival, when the people were purifying themselves for worship and service. More individuals were entering into service than had been available for hundreds of years. And God, through righteous King Josiah, chose a woman for the chief position.

Miriam:

Miriam was Moses’ sister. Part of her ministry was to lead the people in singing and dancing. The Holy Spirit inspired her with words of the song of deliverance immediately following the Exodus, perhaps the most monumental event in the Old Testament history of Israel (Exodus 15:20).

“I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (Micah 6:4). Notice that the three are listed in order of command, but no disclaimer or extra note is attached to Miriam’s name. No explanation was necessary.

Isaiah’s wife: “And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said Jehovah unto me, Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz” (Isaiah 8:3).

There are also two negative examples of a prophetess in the Old Testament.

Noadiah: Nehemiah 6:14. Grouped with male false prophets with no distinction of gender. Condemned on the basis of false prophecies, not on the basis of gender.

Jezebel: False prophetess rebuked because of her message and lifestyle. Gender is not mentioned as a consideration of condemnation.

Conclusion:  Old Testament Scripture does not forbid women in positions of ministry; in fact, it is just the opposite.

Women in positions of ministry sometimes functioned “under” the authority of man (Miriam and the wife of Isaiah) and sometimes superior to the position of a man (Deborah and Huldah).

Women in leadership are not used “just” as “emergency fill-ins,” or because there are no men available. God uses women in leadership, because He calls them to the position, just as He does men.

New Testament Scripture References:

The Greek word for prophetess means a proclaimer of divine revelation.

Anna:

The elderly prophetess of the northern tribe of Asher. Anna served the Lord in the temple and met Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. She praised God and told others about Jesus (Luke 2:36).

The Four Daughters of Philip were prophetesses.

“And on the morrow we departed, and came unto Caesarea: and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him. Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied.” (Acts 21:8–9).

Paul dealt with proper order in the church

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Cor. 14:34–35).

Does God’s word contradict itself? No! Never! Helpers in the faith means “fellow workers.” Would Paul teach against women preaching or teaching in the church and still use and encourage women to ministry in the church? Obviously, he would not. Paul had helpers in the faith, all of whom he complimented equally.

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” (Rom. 16:1–4).

(Notice Priscilla’s name mentioned first. This probably means that she was most prominent and capable in ministry.) Succourer means someone set over to help, a female guardian, and prophetess, caring for the affairs of others and helping them with their resources.

“That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.” (1 Cor. 16:16) Paul called Priscilla his helper in Christ. And he instructs everyone to submit to his helpers.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven” (1 Cor. 11:3–5).

What was proper dress in that culture? It was proper for women to have their heads covered. It is culturally improper, or unwise for women to dress like a man, have the style of a man’s haircut, wear men’s shoes, etc. Why? Because it sends the wrong message. Paul expressed the same idea about the head covering. Yet Paul spoke of women praying or prophesying without distinction. He considered it normal behavior.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26–28).

So why would God call women to ministry when wives should be subject to their husbands?

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” (Gal. 3:13).

What curse? The curse in Gen 3:13–16:

“ And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

In Christ, God restored the relationship that Adam and Eve shared before the fall.

“And the man said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Gen. 2:23).

Order in the home is biblical and correct. The wife is not below, nor greater than, the husband; she is his equal. He is not to dominate over her but to love and protect her. She is not to be trampled upon by him and ordered around as though she has no intellect. She lovingly and willingly serves her husband because she loves him. He protects and provides for her and the household. If need be, he will lay down his life for her because he loves her, even as Christ loves the church and gave himself for her/it.

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Eph. 5:22–25).

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church” (1 Cor. 14:34–35).

In that culture, the women were generally uneducated. Women and men (therefore wives and husbands) were segregated in worship services. Paul corrected wives who were undisciplined in their manners in church. They were out of order, disturbing others by yelling across the building to their husbands. Paul spoke to the wives, telling them that if they wished to ask questions, that they should ask their husbands at home. The context of this verse in this chapter is proper order and preventing confusion. The Scripture must be interpreted in context.

Proper interpretation of Scripture will not contradict other Scripture, nor establish a “square peg” interpretation, which then must be fit into a “round hole” of systematic theology. The proper rules of hermeneutics must never be twisted to agree with what we already believe. In these cases such beliefs are usually founded in tradition rather than direct exegetical study. Our theology must be changed to match the Scripture, not the other way around. It is unfortunate that some submit themselves to eisegetical gymnastics in a futile attempt to validate what they have “always heard” or thought. It should be further noted that such violations of Scripture are often weak arguments from silence, pointing to what the Scripture does not say, rather than what it does say.

Anyone seeking to dominate another person can be ugly.

“I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:8–14).

This Scripture shows proper order in the home between husbands and wives. Silence does not mean “muteness.” This is reference to the manner or spirit of which life is lived is lived. Wives are to be under the authority of their own husbands. Yet God is above the husband … if “any” conflicts with God, then one must obey God rather than “even the husband.” Yet obedience to God must be in a proper spirit of reverence.

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” (1 Peter 3:1–6).

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 3:1–13).

Consider the context of this Scripture. Paul is not disputing whether the office of bishop should be a man or woman. He is instructing concerning the lifestyle and example of leadership. Note that the word “wives” in verse 11 is the ordinary word for women. In this case, Paul is giving instructions for women deacons, according to the context of qualifications for deacons.

Examples of women used by God to accomplish his work:

The wise woman:

She led/saved a whole community of God’s people from the wrath of David and Joab.

“Then cried a wise woman out of the city, Hear, hear; say, I pray you, unto Joab, Come near hither, that I may speak with thee. And when he was come near unto her, the woman said, Art thou Joab? And he answered, I am he. Then she said unto him, Hear the words of thine handmaid. And he answered, I do hear. Then she spake, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter. I am one of them that are peaceable and faithful in Israel: thou seekest to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why wilt thou swallow up the inheritance of the Lord? And Joab answered and said, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy” (2 Sam. 20:16–20).

Abigail: A wise wife/woman of influence.

“And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.” (1 Sam. 25:23–28).

God told Abraham to do as Sara said concerning Hagar.

“Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21:10–12).

There was also a time when Abraham should not have listened to Sara (Gen. 16).

Lydia was prominent in the church at Phillippi:

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.” (Acts 16:14–15).

Shunammite woman:

She was sensitive and responsive concerning the prophet Elisha’s needs. Notice her great influence in partnership with her husband.

“And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.” (2 Kings 4: 8–12).

Women were visited and given messages by angels (e.g. Hagar: Gen. 16:7-14, 21:14-19; Samson’s mother: Judges 13; Mary, the mother of Jesus, Luke 1:26­–38; the women at the tomb, Luke 24:1–10).

 




July 23, 2018, 1:13 PM

No Excuses


                                                                     

Matthew 11: 15-24

Matthew 12:38-42  The queen of the south and the people of Nineveh repented at Jonah’s preaching.  

1 Kings 10:1  

She investigated the rumors: She wanted to know for herself if what she heard was true. She wanted truth and knowledge.

She was hungry to hear from God.  When she heard truth she believed and repented. Jesus says, “The queen of the south will stand in judgment as a testimony against those who refuse to believe.”

We are all without Excuse!  

A greater than Solomon came to the earth.  Jesus did many miracles and they are recorded, documented and confirmed truthfully and faithfully.  There is historical and documented evidence that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected than any other great person in ancient history. More books have been written about Jesus Christ and what He did than about any other person.

The Bible has been affirmed again and again that it is accurate and true. You and I are without excuse.

The failures of others, betrayals, neglect, abuse, loss, and pain, trouble and sickness is not an excuse for rejection of Christ and truth. Whatever comes our way will not be an excuse us in the Day of Judgment. How do I know? Because Jesus has appeared to all men and commanded all men everywhere to repent!

A greater than Jonah is here.                                                                                          Jonah 3:4-10   Jonah a rebellious, very imperfect prophet with an attitude came to the people of Nineveh and preached God’s message and one of the most wicked cities and groups of people repented in sackcloth and ashes! By their repentance they escaped the wrath that was going to be poured upon them.

Scripture declares, “We who the message of Jesus Christ will be condemned in the Day of Judgment if we neglect so great to salvation in Jesus Christ!

How shall we escape? There is no excuse, there is no escape, and judgment is coming to everyone!         I will stand before the great judge of all the earth.

This judge has eyes like flames of fire (Rev. 1:14). His eyes pierce through even the hidden motives, agendas and He discerns the thoughts of humankind. Whatever our deed, whatever our intention, nothing escapes is glaring eye. He will judge according to truth of Jesus testimony.

The Word was made flesh and the word is God. He has no rival; He has no one in which He is to give account. There will be no defense attorneys, there will be no excuses or no plea-bargain‘s.

All the wicked will be cast into hell and the nations that will forget God.

The wicked who refuse to believe and receive Christ will forever be cast into the lake of fire that burns forever.                                                                                         For those who reject Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father: Satan, whom you loved, will be your forever partner. You will go to the lake of fire with the rapist, liar, fornicator, thief, swindler, gossiper, hater, idolater, murderer and all others who refuse to repent of their sins and except the ways of Jesus. There will be no provision for comfort, family, friends, and refreshment. No hope for a tomorrow, because the torment will endure ages without end.

Who will rise in judgment and condemn you? Will it be a Sunday school teacher, a coworker, a preacher, a neighbor or a friend? When you hear the message of Jesus Christ, God‘s beloved son and you refused to receive his grace and his forgiveness and free offer of salvation and heaven, you are trampling the blood of Gods Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the only way/provision made for your salvation, escape and eternal life. Acts 4:11-12    

John 14:6   Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

God gave his only begotten son, he taught and preached, live among men, healed the sick, raised the dead made provision so humankind could be saved by freely giving his own body to be brutally tortured condemned. His very creation mocked him and railed on him with their tongues and crucified him as if he were a criminal.

Do you really think you will escape God’s judgement if you refuse to hear and receive Him who speaks from above? Even nature declares there is a God.              You have heard God speak in your spirit. You have seen the lives changed and you have heard the Gospel message; do you really think God will let you slide in without coming through his Son who gave his all for you to be saved? I’m telling you, the Holy Scripture is telling you; unless you repent, believe and receive Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, you will be damned to hell and everlasting fire. Hell is everlasting, hell is timeless, and Hell has enlarged itself for people like you who have set your stubborn face against Jesus Christ.                                                                                                         2 Peter 2:4-6  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;  5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;  6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter;

Jesus tells a story to relate the reality of an everlasting hell and its torment.  Luke 16:19-24  "Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day.  20 "And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,  21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.  22 "Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.  23 "And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.  24 "And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.'

Hell was not made for you! If you enter there, you will do so bulldozing your way in by rejecting God who so loved you and all of his creation.  If you reject the grace and sacrificial payment for your sins that was provided through Jesus Christ, you will be doomed forever into outer darkness.

John 3:16-19 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.  18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 "And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

 At the moment of your entrance you will wish 1000 times that you had repented, you will believe then. You will surrender then, but then it will be too late! Hell offers no redemption. Hell is forever and the company there will not be inviting; the inhabitants there will curse you, rail on you and hate you in a way you have not yet known. Misery will beget misery, yet, no favor or comfort will relieve its breeding. Hell is not a place you want to go.

Hell is not a place you have to go.

Jesus is calling you now. Come to me, he who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out. What will you do about this invitation will you like Agrippa saying, “Almost there persuaded me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28)                                                                Will you say another time because it is not convenient now? Will your pride hold you back from accepting God’s love through Jesus Christ? Will peer pressure and fear of intimidation from others be worth spending an eternity in Hell?

What a pity excuse! In that day God will laugh at your excuses you will not smear, flatter or swindle Him like you do others here to get your way. There is no wool that can be pulled over his eyes, not now or later. God is calling you now. Now is the day of salvation! If you hear his call, then come . Come receive the blessings and eternal life that He offers Jesus paid the price in full. It’s his gift to you. Will you come to him now and surrender your life to him? Surrender means you give in, you give up and you promise to follow Him in a relational commitment and practical walk.

Don’t worry about the temporary loss. You will gain eternal life. Jesus asked the question, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul, what will I man give an exchange for his soul? (See Mark 8:36-27)

(Luke 16:19-28) Jesus told of a rich man who lifted his eyes in hell and was in great torment. This poor man (who on earth was very rich) would have given everything he owned. He would have done anything possible but in hell it was too late for Him. In hell he could see, hear, feel, remember and regret but no prayer is answered in hell; not even a request for merciful drop of water on his parching tongue. Nor could he be granted the request of warning to his brothers who were walking in the same path, the path of death and destruction that he walked while he lived.  

Every person makes his choice for heaven or hell.                                                     Life or death, blessing or cursing, light or darkness, heaven or hell that’s the options. Jesus provided escape for all who ask. If you believe, if you are willing to follow Jesus Christ; you can pray right now and receive Him. May I lead you in a prayer of repentance and surrender to Jesus Christ?

Father God, I believe in your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe He is God and He died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe He was resurrected and He lives forever. I am sorry for all my sins and I want your forgiveness and acceptance. I ask you to come into my life and be my Savior and my Lord. I will follow you as you lead me. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

 

(If you pray this prayer and sincerly wish spiritural help, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for help) See our website for the phone number or email.


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