Being Blessed is Everything!

631115301_0d78360698Too often Christians act or react badly in certain situations and display the same contempt toward others as many non-Christians. This is because they don’t know the scriptures and have no direct knowledge about how to deal with many of the situations they face. Yet, Jesus was very specific in His teaching and we can get a fairly good insight as to how to act and react when we learn what He said in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5: 3-12:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,  for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,  for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,  for they shall be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus is telling us how a born again Christian, someone who is walking in 8472731872_67f246af9c_mlove and who knows Jesus, should conduct their behavior. We all fall short of this and if we are honest, we would all have to admit that there are times when we miss this mark.

He is telling us that this is the way that we should automatically act and react when dealing with the events of daily life. The more we study the Bible and seek Jesus and the more we worship Him, the more these attributes become a part of us and the less we have to focus on them. But while we’re still growing, it’s really a good thing to read the Beatitudes and get them deep into our heart.

What they mean:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The “poor in spirit” are those who don’t know Jesus, but then when they learn about Him they repent of their sins, give up their sinful life and become born again. They are blessed because now they have Jesus as their Lord, the Holy Spirit as their guide and eternal life with God in Heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” When a Christian’s heart is heavy with sorrow, the Holy Spirit inside them will comfort them and give them a peace that they could not get anywhere in the world. God’s love pours over them like only a Father’s love could.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” 944431_692565744102162_465147567_nIt’s the people who love the Lord and come to Him in love and with reverence and respect for Him as their Father, Lord, and Almighty God who will inherit eternity with Christ and who will come back with Jesus to live on the earth. It’s not the ones who “name and claim” their inheritance or who chant scriptures or whose gospel is focused on the prosperity message. The “meek” are the Christians who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and who love others with the same humility.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” These are the people who love Jesus and who want to know Him; these are the people who are not concerned with personal financial gain or career objectives, but who love the Lord and who live for the Lord and whose focus is to serve Jesus. These are the people who believe that the righteousness of Christ is everything and they hunger and thirst to know Him and to be with Him.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” These people treat others with the same love and patience, kindness and forgiveness, compassion and understanding as Jesus has given to them. They know that Jesus loved them and died for them on the cross while they were still sinners; He did not give up on them and He gave His life to save them. And even now when they do something that they realize has displeased the Lord, they know that they can tell Him they’re sorry and that He will forgive them and continue to be their best friend. As the saying goes, what goes around comes around, and if we don’t have mercy on those who offend us, then God will not intervene with mercy at times when we need it.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The “pure in heart” are the Christians who are born again, washed in the blood of Jesus, and who have repented of their sins, turned away from their sinful ways and now follow Jesus with gladness. They are the ones who are covered in His righteousness and who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and they are the ones who now are part of the family of God and who have a home waiting for them with God in Heaven.

6447825367_d360021037_m“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” We can talk to people and deal with situations much better when we do it with a peaceful attitude. Christians who focus on peace know that others will be drawn to them and their example will be a testimony to them. When Christians strike back and retaliate when they’re called names or when false accusations come against them, they are not walking in peace and often will turn an unkind situation into something really bad. Jesus is our example, and although He spoke direct at times He always did it with a soft and peaceful attitude.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” As the world gets closer to its final days, the rampage of sin continues to grow worse and Christians are being persecuted more and more because they love Jesus. The whole sinful revolution is brought on by the devil who hates Jesus and who knows that his time for persecuting Christians and causing problems in this world is almost over. Many Christians won’t speak up for Christ and won’t take a public stand because they don’t like to be mocked or ridiculed or persecuted – and that in itself displays their lack of love for Jesus. But those whose love for Christ is the very reason for their existence will preach the gospel, stand for righteousness, defend the innocent, and declare the love of God – and they will not be ashamed. They may be persecuted, but their love for Jesus is stronger than their fear of persecution.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” There will be times when non-believers will be upset with Christians and will make up lies about them and try to ruin their testimony. But Jesus said, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” He does not want us to retaliate, call them names back, post nasty things about them online or spread evil rumours about them. He does not want Christians to stoop to their sinful ways and act the way they act. He wants His children to be glad the Word of God has riled their spirits and hopefully to the point where what was said or done might be the first in a string of events that will lead them to Christ. The Christian’s reward is in Heaven; God does not want them to fight back carnally here on earth as they try to get even in their defense. This is not God’s will for them – it’s the devil’s will.

The blessings of God in our lives make life worth living. We cannot preach the gospel without Him; we cannot be nice to mean people on our own efforts; and we cannot come to God in arrogance and expect anything short of discipline. God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us enough to die for us. He has prepared a home for us in Heaven. And He’s given us these precious Beatitudes so that we can know the heart of God and learn to treat others the way He treats us.

“Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

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Why God Doesn’t Answer Prayers

936000_683879594970777_1307781314_nIt’s amazing how many people – including those who proclaim to be Christians – will totally ignore the Lord and not give Him praise and thanks for anything, but then when they want something or need help they decide to pray and actually expect Him to bless them. Few of them get a positive response from God and so they just go back to the world for help. It seems to them as if God doesn’t answer prayers.

Most people have no idea who God is, and they have little reverence or fear of Him and so think that He is THEIR servant to call upon when needed. The very concept of this is absolute foolishness and anyone who looks to God in this way not only doesn’t know Him, but is walking on a very dangerous path that leads to His wrath.

God is the creator of everything living (Genesis 1:1-31) and verses 26-28 says that He made us in His image. He has personally made each and every one of us.

“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me.” … Psalm 119:73

God loves us, and He placed our ancestors, Adam and Eve, in the perfect garden and then walked with them every day. He had a relationship with them – not as a ghost that hovers around taunting them, but as a real live Father who loves His children. But then when sin entered Adam, God could no longer be there because He is Holy and His presence would physically burn up anything around that had sin in it – including Adam and Eve. He loved them so much that He exiled them out of His presence and into the uninhabited world where they were unfortunately ruled by the devil. God would not leave them there, though, and so promised that He would send a Savior who would take away their sins – the sins that separated them from Him. And God kept His Word and He came to earth Himself in the person of Jesus, and died on the cross and took all the sins of mankind to hell so we could once again walk with Him.

The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who accept the salvation 4257830784_f5c9efb2f9_mthat Jesus gave on the cross and those who don’t. The ones who accept Jesus as the promised Messiah, the Savior, come to God with a heart of repentance and ask Him to wash away their sins. Then they turn away from the world and serve God with a whole heart; they study the Bible, pray for others and praise His name, giving Him glory for everything that He has done. As they grow in Him, the relationship between them and God grows and they realize that they can trust Him with their lives.

The ones who don’t know God have no idea who He is and only respond in prayer because that’s what you do when you need help. But they don’t know Him. They don’t know anything about Him and have no right thinking that He would answer their prayers. When God looks at sinners who do not have the blood of Jesus covering them, who have not repented and do not have remission for their sins, He sees one thing – and that is sin.

What does the Bible say about sin? Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” And for those whose sins have been forgiven it says, “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

People who carry their sins and don’t repent will not receive the blessings of God no matter how much they supposedly pray. Their prayers will not be answered because they do not know Him and sin stands between them and Him.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” … 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

4015126591_2737b0a037_mYou can’t receive an inheritance from someone you don’t know. For example, there may be a wealthy man in my city, but when he dies I won’t be in his will because I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me. I am not part of his family and he is not obligated to leave me anything – and I have no right to expect that he would. It’s the same with God. If we are not in His family then we cannot expect to receive the inheritance of eternal life with Jesus in Heaven, or of a relationship with Him on earth. We cannot expect that He would hear or answer our prayers.

But when we know Him, we can trust Him because He hears and answers our prayers.

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” … 1 Peter 3:12

If we truly want God to answer our prayers then we need to know Him. He died for everyone, but only those who accept His salvation and turn away from evil to serve Him with a whole heart will be part of His family, and will have their prayers answered.

It’s not lip service; it’s not just acknowledging the cross. Even Satan knows about the cross, but He is the enemy of God and anyone who does not accept Jesus as their Savior belongs to the devil (James 4:4).  Salvation means loving God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving people with the same passion that He loves us. God is our Heavenly Father, our Savior, our Lord and our King and there is nothing that the world can throw at us that Jesus won’t help us through, and that’s because we accept His love and His salvation and we belong to Him.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” … Psalm 23

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God is Not Deaf

936000_683879594970777_1307781314_nAs Christians, we take our concerns to God in prayer and many of us make it a daily routine as we bring the same situation to God day after day. Our first prayer begins with humility and reverence, but by the millionth prayer for the same issue we wonder if God is even listening to us as our petitions get stronger and our faith gets weaker. What we don’t seem to understand is that He heard us the first time – God is not deaf.

God hears the prayers of His children and we know this because Proverbs 15:29 says, “He hears the prayer of the righteous.”  So, is He so busy that our prayers are in a waiting list to be answered? No. God is Omnipresent, which means He is everywhere at the same time and He is not confined to our time or place. He’s Omniscient, which means He knows everything about everything and is very able to answer every single prayer on an individual and personal level.  God is Omnipotent, which means He is all-powerful, supreme and unstoppable, so there is nothing and no one who can stop Him for doing anything.

So why doesn’t He answer our prayers when we pray? There are five basic reasons why prayers don’t get answered right away and the onus for each one is on us – not on God.

1) Are You a True Christian?

Many people refer to themselves as Christians. They have a vague knowledge of God and Heaven and accept that He’s up there somewhere and when they need help on earth they pray because that’s what they are supposed to do. But they don’t know God. They aren’t part of the Family of God and they just assume that this Creator will stop what He’s doing every time they have a need or desire and just cater to them. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. God does not acknowledge the prayers of the unsaved.

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” … Proverbs 15:29

Who are the righteous? They are the Christians. They are the 311648_715477408477662_866568947_npeople who realize that they need a Savior because they have sin in them and that with that sin they cannot approach the Holy God of Heaven – ever. They are the ones who realize that with that sin they will not go to Heaven when they die, but rather they’ll go to hell and on Judgment Day will be cast into the Lake of Fire [Revelation 20:15].

They are the people who accept that Jesus is the Son of God who came down from Heaven to be a man so that He could take upon His own body all of their sins. They’re the ones who know that He suffered the beatings, torture and brutal punishment for those sins and that when they nailed Him to the cross and He died, He took those sins down to hell on their behalf.  They’re the ones who know that God raised Jesus from the dead and that He lives forever more and is their King.

Christians are people who love God, who praise God and who worship God for loving them even when they didn’t know Him. They are the ones who know that His love toward them is so great that He would actually take on a human body just to pay the punishment for their sins. And they know that He did this so they would not have to endure the wrath that He has already established and will come to those who have sin in them.

Christians are the ones who are born again because they accept944431_692565744102162_465147567_n Jesus as their Lord and Savior, repent of their sins and turn away from the world. Christians are filled with His Spirit who comes to live in them and give them a new life. They know that the Holy Spirit will now teach them His ways and give them revelation knowledge of His Word as they study the Bible. They are the ones who God hears when they pray. They are the ones who talk to God as a child would talk to their father, and they present their needs to Him and truly thank Him before they see the answer.

God provided a way for you to become part of Him and no longer part of this sinful world. When you are a Christian who loves the Lord and who lives for the Lord, then you will see that He answers the prayers of the righteous.

  1. Do you have faith or doubt?

4257830784_f5c9efb2f9_mMany Christians are true Christians, but they don’t know God very well and so they don’t have the faith in Him to trust Him or believe Him for help. It’s unfortunate that in this world people have become conformed to its ways and understanding and so aren’t able to take their eyes off of their situation and put them onto God.

The only way to know God is to study the Bible and learn about Him [2 Timothy 2:15]. The New Testament is all about God, who He is and who Christians are in Him. The Old Testament is the background that leads to Christ because everything the people did and everything that was prophesied is directed toward the coming Messiah – Jesus Christ.

Christians who truly know God will easily be able to put their faith and trust in Him because they love Him, believe Him and totally trust Him with their lives. So, they walk by faith. But Christians who get saved and then don’t take the time to know the God of their salvation walk by sight because they don’t have any faith or trust in their Savior. So when they pray God hears them, but they don’t look for the answer because they really don’t have faith in God to provide it.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” … 2 Corinthians 5:7

3) Maybe the Answer is ‘No’?

It’s very easy to assume that you know everything and that all God needs to do is trust your judgment and give you what you’re asking for, but sometimes God doesn’t want for you what you want for yourself. Sometimes even Christians will pray and ask God to let them win the lottery, for example. They think that’s okay because after all, God wants them to live life abundantly [John 10:10] and the lottery would sure do that. But God sees into your future and knows whether or not this would be a blessing or a curse. Perhaps too much wealth at one time would send you away from Him and cause you to not seek Him or that it could even eventually cost you your salvation, and so He won’t grant you the petition of your prayers.

Some Christians attend funerals and wonder why God would let that person die. When they get to Heaven they’ll know the answer, but for now they’ll have to accept that God knows what He’s doing and they’ll have to trust Him. There have been countless incidents where people were saved at funerals and that it’s because of the funeral that they got serious with God and with the afterlife of Heaven. Life on earth is for only a few years and eternity is forever, so when Christians lose loved ones here, they keep the joy they share because they know that the person is still alive and in God’s presence. And one day they’ll will be with them again – only this time it will be forever.

4) Are You Praying According to God’s Will?

thinkerSometimes Christians live only in their own little space and don’t want to see the big picture. God has His plan for this world already set out and it’s going just the way He said it would. The book of Revelation tells us what we can expect and what the outcome of this world will be. Satan brought sin into God’s world through Adam, and God has provided the defeat of sin and death through Jesus to all those who believe in Him.

When Christians have an ongoing, loving relationship with God and they study the Bible diligently, then they know who God is and they know how to pray according to His will. They don’t just pray every day for things and hope for them to happen; they pray for the things that they know God wants and they look for them to happen.

Jesus told us in John 14:14, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”  As Christians grow in the Lord they become like Him and their heart and their concerns and their priorities become the same as God’s. They won’t pray for lavish expensive cars so they can show off their riches, but rather will pray for a good car to meet their needs. They won’t pray for an abundance of money so they can live well, but will pray for the needs of the poor and the sick so they can live well. [James 5:14]

5) Are You Praising God and Thanking Him?

God is not deaf nor is He unable to do anything. In Matthew 19:25 Jesus tells us, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” You need to trust Him.

7939_692592870766116_1823059502_nSo, once you’ve asked God for something you don’t need to ask Him again. He heard you the first time. What you need to do is start to praise Him and thank Him that He hears and answers prayer – that He’s already answered your prayer. Praise Him and thank Him for being a loving Heavenly Father who cares for you enough to die for you. Worship Jesus for being your Savior and for saving you from the wrath of God to come, and for making YOU part of His wonderful family.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” … Philippians 4:6

God loves to hear from you, to talk with you, to communicate with you. He wants you to cast all your cares unto Him because He cares so much for you [1 Peter 5:7]. The devil wants to stop this relationship [John 10:10] because of his hate for God, but Christians don’t need to fear the devil or run from Him. Jesus has already defeated him for you. Praise the Lord!

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Pride Comes Before a Fall

Stressed at work - office multitasking on whiteMany Christians have the attitude that they can work out their problems and they think that it’s a bother to even pray about them. Yet, God is always there so we should never get so caught up with the ways of this world and our own self-image that we forget to take Jesus with us.

Too often we won’t turn to God for help because we don’t want to bother Him with small issues. We feel it’s better to only ask Him to help with the big things; after all, we are intelligent beings who like to take care of ourselves. This is called “pride” and it will destroy anyone who believes it! It will separate us from God, smother our faith in Him and even ruin our relationship with Him.

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” … Proverbs 16:18

We read in Luke 9:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus would not have come down from Heaven to sacrifice His life just to help with the big problems in our lives. He came not only to save us from sin, but to bring us into His family. Right now we live in a world that is controlled by the devil – and this is evident in the world all around us. But Jesus came and defeated the devil so that those who will accept Him can live freely in HIM.

This world is growing in evil and if we think we can fight the devil and win on our own merits then we will fall. When we have any problems we need to take them to the Lord because only HE can win over the devil. Jesus went to the cross so that we could get victory over sin and death. Let’s not be so foolish as to think that we don’t need God in every minute of our lives.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

… John 16:33

People who don’t take their problems to the Lord don’t really have a relationship with Him. They feel that He is “God” in HeavenWhat a friend we have in Jesus that they’ll meet one day, and they go to church and that’s where they leave it. But, this is not a relationship with Him; this is just doing works that mean nothing to God. Jesus wants us to be part of Him. He says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”

Being a Christian means following Jesus and knowing Him personally. It means studying the Bible and learning all about God and who we are in Christ. Jesus is the Son of God, the one who sacrificed His life on the cross to pay for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to stand before God on Judgment Day, ready to be judged for the sin that is in us. This is not just a nice thing that He did. This is a GREAT thing that Jesus did and He is worthy of our praises every minute of every day!

228523_673507872674616_643208514_nNot only should we be grateful for this gift of life, but we can rest in the fact that Jesus did it because He loves us and because He wants to have a relationship with us here on earth and forever. He hears every single prayer that we pray when we are born again Christians who love Him. But if we just think that He should answer our big requests because He is God and is supposed to, then there is no relationship between us and Him, and we have no right to think that He would even hear us. If this is the case, then perhaps, it’s time that we got to know Him because there is no father on earth who loves His children more than our Heavenly Father loves us.

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him He heareth.” … John 9:31

If we have a problem, big or small, let’s not let the pride of Satan steal the joy that God has for us. He is our Heavenly Father who loves us and who wants to be involved in our lives so that we can be part of His life.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” … 1 Peter 5:7

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A Very Dark Hour

954751_689208277771242_889438941_nIt seems that life now-a-days has more ups and downs and constant challenges than ever before. The law has changed dramatically and now it allow things that years ago would have been forbidden such as the legalization of abortion and the acceptance of a homosexual lifestyle. Crime and pointless killings have become the norm, sickness and incurable diseases are on the rise, and God has been eliminated from public sectors such as schools, work places – and even churches! The security of every person on earth is being contested and not far in the future those who don’t know Christ will face a very dark hour.

We have watched the chaos unravel around us for years and now we see the dangers they all present and the future that we face, and many of us are scared.  What is our hope for the future?

While it is true that the world is becoming overrun by sin, it is also true that as Christians, this world is not our home so it does not control us. When we became born again Jesus became the Lord over our life and so we have to realize that HE is in control over everything that happens in our life when we study our Bible, follow Him and trust Him. The world will continue down its path of destruction, but we will keep our eyes on Jesus and follow Him on the narrow path.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that Taken3leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at, because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” … Matthew 7:13-14

In Matthew 24:3, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him, “Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus answered them in verses 4-14 and explained what signs to look for, and then in verses 15-51 He went into more detail about what things would happen in the last days before He would return. These scriptures no longer refer to the “future” of mankind because we now live in the time when we can see evidence of many of these occurrences.

And we are not far from the time that is spoken of in Luke 21:26 when we’re told about the fear that would come to mankind because of these events. Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

The world is literally falling apart, yet many will argue and say that Christianity is spreading across the globe more now than ever before in history, but that is not really true. Yes, Christianity is being preached by true born-again believers all around the world and there are many who have devoted their lives to spread the true gospel of Christ. And there are many Christians in the Middle-East who are martyred because they choose to follow Jesus. However, not everyone who says they are a Christian is, in fact, a Christian.

The bulk of the Christian world as we know it in general is not led by Jesus or founded on the real gospel of Jesus according to the scriptures; it’s a false gospel that caters to the desires of greedy people and does not teach the true gospel of Christ. There are many false preachers and religions that make people feel good and that seem to hit right on with what they want to believe. And since the churches they join are called churches – be it physical congregations or television evangelical organizations – they feel secure in their ignorance, all the while thinking that they’re safe, but not realizing they are on the road to hell.

68998146_6136ce06da_mWhile each one of us will stand accountable for our own life one day, these false preachers, teachers and prophets will all face the judgment of God and be cast into hell because they deceived the people and taught a false Christ and a false gospel.

“And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” … Matthew 24:51

And as we read in Matthew 7, there are many false preachers and doctrines that the devil has cleverly planted here just to deceive people and to keep them from knowing God. The less of God there is in this world, the more the devil can rule in lawlessness and the more damage he can and will do. When people carelessly assume that they will go to Heaven and that God will protect them and give them everything they want and feel that they deserve, they are fools. Satan has used the false leaders to deceive them and when they leave this earth and face God, they will receive their judgment right along with the deceivers who they followed.

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” … Matthew 7:23

A very dark hour is coming upon this earth, just as Jesus predicted, and the only way we will get through it is with Jesus. Though many Christians hope to be raptured before the worst of it comes, the truth is that no one knows when that will be and so we may have to endure much more before that great event happens. But, Jesus has promised to protect us and keep us safe when we walk through those horrific trials.

944431_692565744102162_465147567_n“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” … Psalm 23:4

False Christianity and ignorance might get us riches and fame here on earth, but it will not cause us to escape God’s wrath that is coming and has already begun. There is much more to life than just living for today because God created us to live with Jesus forever, and therefore, our souls will live on forever. Our bodies here will die, but Jesus has said that we will be given new bodies and that when we leave this earth we will all stand before God. If He sees that we belong to Him and that the blood of Jesus has washed away all of our sins, then He will welcome us into Heaven to live with Him forever; but if we are not covered in the righteousness of Christ and we still have the old sin of the devil in us, we will face judgment and be sentenced to hell.

Just as the life of Joan Rivers was taken suddenly and unexpectedly, so could it be with anyone. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can accept Jesus and change your lifestyle “one day” because that day may have come and gone and may never come again. The Bible tells us in Luke 13:28:

“There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. “  

When we live for Jesus, through His grace and our faith we are able to see His goodness and His love, the joy He gives us and the hope for today. We can experience a blessed peace in our heart because regardless of what happens here on earth, we have a home in Heaven where our Heavenly Father waits for us. We have much to look forward to and much to thank God for every day, but those who don’t know Jesus will stand alone as they head toward a very dark hour.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” … John 14:1-3

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* If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, but want to be a Christian with a home in Heaven, then just find a quiet place for a minute and bow your head. Tell God that you want to repent and come out of the world and that you want to be a Christian. Ask Jesus to forgive you for all your sins and to fill you with His Spirit. There won’t be any thunder or flashing lights for you to see – although in Heaven the angels will cheer louder than any sports stadium could portray. Then as soon as possible, get into the New Testament of the Bible and read it over and over. Pray and ask the Lord to teach you everything He is saying so that it will get deep into your heart. And then remember to tell God thank you often for saving you and for making you part of His family.

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Christians, Wake Up!

4015126591_2737b0a037_mMany so-called Christian churches today are filled with myths and deception and literally force the people away from God and into a false religion that mocks the God of Heaven. And although many people feel that they are sanctified because they attend church, the truth is that attending church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than strolling through a beautiful landscape makes you a gardener, and if you think it does then you will join the millions of souls who will cry out to God on Judgment Day as He turns you away from Heaven. It is time for people to stop trying to bring God down to their sinful ways and to begin to know and give honor to the real God of Heaven. It’s time for Christians to wake up!

Christianity is about Christ; nothing more and nothing less. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the apostle Paul tells us, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”  Paul is telling us to study and to learn the gospel that He preaches because it is the only gospel that Christians are to follow. Paul adds in Galatians 1:8, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Many of the deceptions that come through preachers, teachers and televangelists red guyare that God has a different agenda for us today than what the old church taught; that God has changed and wants to meet us where we’re at; that He’ll accept us just the way we are so we don’t need to give up any bad habits because they’ve all been forgiven at the cross. Many false teachers like Kenneth Copeland  teach a prosperity message and twist the scriptures to make us believe that today’s Christians can have all the wealth they want, and that it’s their inheritance here on earth and all they have to do is tithe, claim it and quote scriptures to get it. These actions have nothing to do with Christ or with Christians or with the real gospel of Christ.

We live in a world that’s controlled by Satan and overrun with sin and corruption, and so to be a Christian you have to realize that you’re a minority and that the world is against you. Jesus never promised that life would be a bed of rose; in fact, He said just the opposite:

“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” … John 16:33

And because Jesus has overcome the world through His death and resurrection on the cross, we also can have the victory through our trials and tribulations when we give them to Him and let Him guide us through them. But we will have them.

“Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.” … Psalm 27:11

God does not want us to be sick or to have lack of finances or to go through marital problems or to have issues with raising our children, but the influence from this world distracts us and forces us to take our eyes off of the Lord and onto our own abilities and inadequacies. But through prayer and trust in God, we can and we WILL get the victory even though the answers might not be what we expected. And that’s because God is molding our lives for His purpose when we let Him.

Many so-called “Christian” leaders today are not teaching us the real gospel of Christ, but are instead teaching us what we want to hear. We want to hear that we don’t have to change our lifestyle or study the Bible or get to know Jesus personally because He’s an easy-going God who just accepts us just as we are and who wants us to prosper in this world. But this is lie because to be a Christian we need to accept Jesus as the Son of God who died on the cross in our place and who paid the punishment for our sins and who rose again and who now sits on the right hand of God in Heaven, waiting for Judgment Day.

WaquasWe need to read the New Testament and understand what the gospel of Jesus really is – and it’s not about me and it’s not about you. It’s about Jesus. It’s about a loving God who took on the form of a human body and suffered in death so He could fulfill the promise and defeat hell and death. And every single person who accepts this and loves Him will be forgiven of their sin and will receive His Spirit and live with Him forever.

What a promise! And yet churches have filled their pews with people who ignorantly follow their doctrine and their protocol, but who have no idea who Jesus really is or what His gospel is really about.

Christianity is not about being good or doing good works. It’s not about being faithful to the church pastor and fluent with physical gifts. Christianity is about knowing Jesus and becoming like Him and carrying on the mission that He began when He was here. Christianity is about loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and in turn, loving people with the same love that you have for yourself.

Christianity is making Christ the highest priority in our life so that everything we do, think and say is to His glory and for His benefit. The only way any of us are going to know Jesus is to study the scriptures, especially the New Testament, because Jesus filled Paul with all knowledge of Himself and Paul teaches us who God is and what He expects from us and what rewards He has for us.

There are far too many man-made rules inside the church organizations that mislead people and take them away from the Lord. We need to learn to discern the truth from the deception so that we can focus our heart and our purpose on Christ, alone.

I have written a book on these very issues and it will be released in just a few weeks, in the fall of 2014. It’s called:

Christians, Wake Up! How to find the real gospel in a world of false doctrines”

This book, which I was originally going to title, “In Search of the Real Jesus”,  answers many of the questions that new and immature Christians have about rules, doctrines and practices that are spreading throughout the churches today, and hopefully, it will allow you to see the difference between religious doctrine and the true gospel of Christ. You’ll learn how the scriptures have been twisted and changed into a religion that serves the devil, and  you’ll see that we serve a mighty and a powerful yet very loving God who is filled with grace, slow to anger and quick to forgive.

We will all stand before Christ one day because this world is not our home; we are just passing through and our final destination will be Heaven with Jesus, or hell without Him. Don’t be deceived because now is the time:  Christians, wake up!

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:10-14

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A Humbling Experience

Corrie ten BoomI recently read a book called, The Hiding Place, and it’s the true story of Corrie ten Boom, a woman who not only survived the brutal concentration camps of WW2, but who saved the lives of countless persecuted Christians and was a light to many other women in the camps.  I was totally captivated by the horrors that she and her family endured and yet amazed at how God was right there in the midst of it all through this woman. To read her story was truly a humbling experience for me.

There are many times that we Christians get caught up with the niceties of life and we complain when we have to endure an inconvenient trial or suffer through something that we were sure God should have exempted us from in the first place – after all, we’re Christians. Sadly, we turn toward the loud prosperity preachers and false doctrines that are designed to appeal to our personal desires and because of our lack of scriptural understanding, we totally miss God. And this is NOT a good thing.

“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.” … 2 Timothy 4:3-4

We can’t be fence-sitting Christians anymore. We either need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives, or we need to dive deep into the Bible and study it diligently to know God and what His direction is for our lives. In other words, if we’re going to say that we’re a Christian then we need to get serious and be one!

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day 5352515370_7f2a4426e6_mwhom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” … Joshuah 24:15

We can all look around us and see that the world is falling apart. It’s plagued with illness and unusual climatic change, but more than that, it’s becoming over-burdened with sin, corruption and deception and it’s getting worse every day.  The devil is busy destroying people and he’s moving faster and harder now because his time is almost over – Jesus is on the verge of returning!  We need to stop following false doctrines and showy preachers and get back to basics – the Bible!

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” … Romans 10:9

There is only ONE gospel and that is the gospel of Jesus found in the New Testament of the Bible, and most of it is written by the Apostle Paul who was a disciple of Jesus. He didn’t walk with Jesus during the Lord’s earthly ministry as the “twelve” disciples did, but Paul had a unique experience on the Road to Damascus shortly after the Lord’s resurrection where he met Jesus in person and was converted. The Lord filled Paul with the knowledge of the full gospel and Paul wrote about it throughout the New Testament. This “gospel” needs to be our benchmark for Christianity. This is the real gospel of Jesus.

“And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” … Acts 9:3-6

When we study the New Testament we learn who God is and who Jesus is, and we realize the big picture of what’s in store for the people on earth, AND we learn how to survive and get the victory through many of the trials that await us. Jesus tells us many times that the world will continue in sin and get worse, and that there will be persecutions and tribulations that will beset the Christians – and that’s because Christians oppose sin and the devil doesn’t like it.

So, if we’re having issues in our home or at the job or with our health, then we need to remember that trials are going to come and will continue to come at us as long as we live in this sinful world. But we also need to remember that our destination is Heaven where we’ll be with Jesus forever and where life will be good – no sin, no sickness, no tears, no death. BUT, while we’re here, God’s Holy Spirit, who lives in us, will guide us along the way.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

… John 16:33

There are two great deceptions that are robbing Christians of this truth: 1) that it’s God’s will for us to be rich on this earth and so we should strive for prosperity because we’re a “king’s kid” and our focus should be on reaping the wealth here on earth; 2) that Jesus died for everyone on the cross and that individual repentance isn’t necessary because we’re all automatically forgiven of all sins and are all headed to Heaven and that God loves each of us just the way we are.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” … Matthew 7:15

untitled These are false teachers that cater to our personal desires and to our ignorance of the truth about the scriptures, and both will rob us of our salvation if we don’t find that truth and live it. There is an mp3 teaching series by Rev. Rich Vermillion that is called, The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel, that is FREE and he not only teaches you the real gospel, but he shows you how to discern false teachers and doctrines.

The truth is that we are in a battle as long as we’re on earth and we need to put on the whole armour of God and resist the devil. We need to study the Bible and get prepared because earth is NOT our home where we can relax and bask in the wealth of the land; earth is a battleground and when we accept Christ and come out of the sinful ways, the devil is going to come after us and he will defeat us if we aren’t prepared because he does his job well – he has come to steal, kill and destroy.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” … Ephesians 6:12-18

Our hearts and our goals and our reason for living should be for Jesus. We can enjoy our life here on earth and share God’s love and blessings with those around us, but we also need to be prepared and ready to stand for Christ; for what’s right and true according to the scriptures.  When we realize that Jesus was God in Heaven who put Himself into the body of a man so that He could come to earth and live among us and then take on our sins and die on the cross in our place after being brutally tortured, we see that the greatest treasure in all of the world is the love of God.  And nothing is more humbling to us than to realize that He did it all for “me”.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” … Romans 8:38-39

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