Thursday, August 27, 2015

Josh Duggar - and Finding a Faithful Husband or Wife

Josh Duggar and Finding a Faithful Spouse
Barbara Henderson

It is all over the news that Josh Duggar of reality TV fame has added adultery to his list of sins.  What a hypocrite.  He has checked into a rehab facility now.

First, I don’t care if his parents have 25 children.  One hundred years ago it was not uncommon for people to have a dozen children.  Nineteen was uncommon, but wasn’t a reason for the family to be turned into a freak show on reality TV.  Hopefully most of the family is made up of nice people who try to behave like the Christians they claim to be.  If there are 25 or 30 of them now counting all the children, in laws, and grandchildren, then it is highly likely there will be a hypocrite in the bunch. So what happened to Josh to make him turn out the way he is?

Is his wife at fault?  Could she have kept him faithful if she had been a better wife?
Are his parents at fault?  Could they have done a better job when he was growing up?
Is the legal system to blame?  Should they have punished him more early on?  Why wasn’t more counseling required?
Is advertising at fault?  I mean, you can’t even go through a check out line at a grocery store without seeing what amounts to pornography.

I will go out on a limb here and say none of the above.  Josh is a hypocrite because that is who he is.  Until he truly decides to rely on Jesus Christ to help him become a better person, he will stay a slimy hypocrite.

Here is the truth. No one, and I mean no one, can pick a faithful spouse with 100% certainty.  BUT, you can be a faithful spouse.  That is really the bottom line.  You are responsible for your own actions.  What you do is your choice.  If you are blessed with a faithful spouse then thank the Lord.  If your spouse is not faithful then the blame rests squarely on him/her.  There are no actions on the part of one spouse that give the other spouse permission to cheat! 

In the Bible there is the story of Gomer and Hosea.  Gomer was a cheating wife.  She went from loved and cared for wife to temple prostitute.  How did Hosea respond?  He didn’t go out and take on a floozy of his own.  He stayed true to God.  Eventually he even took the hussy back!  I am not suggesting that everyone needs to reconcile with a cheating spouse. But a cheating spouse will put the ‘wronged spouse’ to a test.  If they go out and pick up whoever will go home for the night then that person was a cheater at heart as well.

Be faithful to marriage vows yourself regardless of what you spouse does. 

Jerry and I have been married 44 years now.  It has been a faithful marriage.  Jerry either spends his time working or with me or possibly hunting with one of our kids.  Jerry has no inclination to cheat.  I don’t take any credit for that.  He is a faithful husband because that is who he is. He has been blessed with a wonderful near perfect wife…..  but, it would not have made a difference in that matter.  He chose to follow the instructions in the Bible on everything.  He is faithful to me because that is a choice he made before we even met.  I thank God for him, but I do not take any credit.

If there are any people reading this who have a cheating spouse I can tell you flatly that you do not get any of the blame.  It isn’t your fault.  There is no excuse for cheating.  Cheaters come up with a reason to cheat. That is what they do.  I don’t know of anything that would make it easier, but I do know what would make it harder. It is made harder when the offended spouse takes part of the blame or when family and friends put blame on him/her.  The important thing to remember is that a cheating spouse does not give the other spouse a free pass to cheat also.

If you know someone facing a situation like this they need you to be a friend.  I will say flatly not to be overly friendly with a person of the opposite sex.  Ladies encourage other ladies.  Men encourage other men. It is also a very bad idea to have ‘pity parties’ where women get together to talk about how awful men are, or men get together to talk about how difficult women are.  A cheating spouse really tests everyone in their circle of family, friends, church, and work.  What the cheater did was a gross sin.  How every Christian responds is a test for each Christian.

I never met the Duggars.  I think I saw them once in a grocery store parking lot somewhere in Arkansas, which is sort of like an Elvis sighting.  I don’t know and I really don’t care.  Maybe I saw a group of the Rainbow People.  These people are only the subject of this article because of their recent notoriety relating to Josh Duggar being a hypocrite instead of the practicing Christian he claimed to be.  Non-Christians love trash like this.  In response I wanted to say something to all people who have faced a situation like this, or family and friends who have watched someone else go through this. 

Until the cheater actually repents restoration of fellowship to even friends – much less their spouse – is not really possible.  It is the same with all sins.  It can’t be fixed until the sinner is willing to acknowledge wrong doing and turn from it. 

Committed Christian should keep their focus on obedience to God in all circumstances. The sin of one person never gives another person a reason to sin.  That means no grumbling or complaining; no gossip; no jealousy; no anger; no bitterness; or any other thing that would cause God to be ashamed of our behavior.  It also means to continue giving thanks. Obviously no one is required to give thanks for something like a cheating spouse. Continual thanks should be given for the blessings of God that never change, and for the blessings of each day. It is easy to overlook the blessings of eternity and the daily blessings when overwhelmed with a tragedy or sadness.  That is probably why God instructs us to give thanks in everything.  He is reminding us that His love and care are with us no matter what we are going through at the time. 

Be faithful.
Be obedient.
Repent of your own sins.
Don’t take on blame for the sins of others.
Be forgiving as that is required of God.
Forgiveness, while a definite command, does not equate with restoration of fellowship. The decision to restore fellowship in any situation is dependent on the actual repentance and turning from sin of the offending party. It requires the offending party to set a new and lengthy pattern of right behavior.  For serious matters actual Christian counseling is probably necessary. 

Once again, you are responsible for your own actions.  No one is excused for sinful and bad behavior because of the behavior of someone else.  Have a reverent awe of God, love Him, and keep His commandments.  That is the pathway to a life that is blessed by God. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Sure and Safe Eternal Future is Available

Be Prepared for the Path Ahead
Barbara Henderson

How do you prepare for the path ahead?  I mean it looks like the world is going through a paradigm shift in right and wrong.  God has been thrown out as the standard by which good and evil are judged.  Judges are openly proclaiming evil good and good evil.  Money for which people work very hard is stolen from the through taxes and passed out freely to lazy illiterates and illegals.  And the very brutal truth is that no one actually knows how to prepare for the future.  How can we prepare for a future that has no precedence? The future is more of an unknown that ever.  Except for one thing that is.  With the exception of those who leave this earth in the ‘rapture of the church’ we are all going to die!  (What is the rapture and when will it happen?’ )

That you will die is not an unknown.  We don’t know the exact day or hour or even year.  But, it is going to happen.  Now is the time to prepare for this event!  And no, you don’t prepare by getting a pre-paid funeral, although that isn’t a bad idea.  You prepare by accepting the invitation of Jesus Christ to go to heaven at His expense.  To put it bluntly if you don’t prepare to go to heaven you are going to hell.  No one in heaven is going to wish they had gone to hell.  Those in hell will all be looking for an escape, but there will be no escape.  Hell is eternal.

Have you prepared for the one event that is surely coming to you?  Have you put your trust in Jesus Christ?  Do you know you are saved? (Are Christians right when they say I need to get saved? )

Once you have been saved the time to lay up treasures in heaven begins. You have a very real future in heaven.  In heaven there is no corruption and no thieves. (Many people in heaven were former thieves, but through repentance they were cleansed from all unrighteousness.)  What you store in heaven stays in heaven.  You do this through obedience to God, striving to conform to the image of Christ, by loving others the way Christ loved you, studying the Bible, learning the teachings of the God through the Bible, gaining patience, and generally applying sound Bible teachings to personal actions. You do this daily and consistently. 

Trust the Lord.  As you do what the Lord says to do you trust Him to take care of the rest.  There have been instances where the Lord has provided food out of thin air for His children.  But trusting the Lord does not take away responsibility to do the best you can with the resources given to you.  Payday means pay the bills, buy food, give to God, and buy the things you need.  It does not mean spend it all on fun things and trust God to provide more money to pay your bills.  It means trust the Lord to begin with; do everything you are capable of doing; and trust God to manage the results of your labor.  In other words, be action based instead of outcome based.  Truthfully, we can often see the likely result of our labor, but we can’t know the exact outcome.  Often harder work provides better results. Today in the labor market the opposite is true.  Buying power is less.  More money does not go farther than it did even a few years ago.  Inflation is eating up the fruit of our labor.  We have no control over this.  Just do the best you can and trust God.  Because the government has become a den of thieves does not give Christians the right to stop providing for our own families and paying our taxes.  Like many of you I wish Jesus had left out the part of the gospel that says, ‘render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s.’  God is always right, so be obedient to do what He says to do.

A change in leadership in a nation is not going to change a lot.  It may help in some instances, but national leadership is not where the real change needs to be.  The real change needs to be in Christians trusting God and crying out to Him for mercy.  Many people and so-called preachers of the gospel are preaching social injustice and social change instead of preaching Jesus Christ.  The outcome of such heresy from the pulpit is that the lost do not hear the plan of salvation.   We often hear people and preachers saying what Jesus would do in certain situations.  They need to give a Biblical example to back up their blather.  Jesus did feed thousands, but He did it without government assistance.  He didn’t ask for government intervention when He threw the money changers out of the temple.  Jesus had no opinion as far as rich or poor being better.  The rich young ruler loved his riches more than he wanted to follow Jesus.  That was the sin that cost him salvation.  He was ‘rich in spirit’ meaning he was proud and comfortable. Poor people can also be rich in spirit.  Jesus loved sinners of all sorts enough to tell the truth. Repent and turn from your sin or you will go to hell. 

Be brave.  Be strong and of good courage. 
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.’  1 Chronicles 28:20

  The world does not like Christians. The world hates the truth.  The world hates God.  The world hates Jesus. As God is love, the world system is hate.  Governments gobble power and control like chickens gobble up worms.  Christians are standing in their way.  Never the less, it is the duty of the Christian who actually cares about the lost to tell the truth. 
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.’  Proverbs 12:17.

When I think about the current political and social situation in the United States it breaks my heart.  The thought that comes to mind is that where there is no love of God there is no nation worth saving.  However, the USA and the entire world are full of people who need salvation.  Every soul saved has a citizenship in heaven.  Heaven is the nation in which we will spend eternity, and heaven is in no need of salvation. Everyone there is safe in the hand of God.  Heaven is already perfect. Love you country, but love heaven more.  Heaven is your eternal home.

If you were out to win a popularity contest you would lose if your talent was talking about Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation.  But, you would wise.  Proverbs 11:30 says, ‘The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.’

Truly, our actions may make an earthly nation a better place to live.  But we cannot save a nation from sin.  We can point the way to Jesus Christ.  We can pray for souls to be saved so the population of heaven will be larger.  The Bible says we can’t understand the things that God has prepared for them that love Him.  But it is a place that has room for more people.  Do something good for the wonderful place you are going when you die.  Tell the lost how to meet you in heaven.  (Meet Me There – hymn – with lyrics – wonderful! )

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