Monday, July 10, 2017

Whatching the World Crumble from the Cleft of the Rock

Watching the World Crumble from the Cleft of the Rock
Barbara Henderson

If you had the opportunity to talk face to face with a liberal talk show host or radio host or even someone on a news channel who would it be?  But more important, what would you say to them?  You can’t curse them and tell them to die.  I mean what would you say that might convince them they are totally backwards in what they are calling good and what they are calling evil?  I would guess that our common ancestor Noah had that same thought in his mind continually.  Thankfully, Noah turned 7 people to the Lord, and they got on the ark of their own free will.  Then the flood came and took all the others away.

Anyway, back to the question.  What would you say if you had an opportunity to talk to someone who is an utterly despicable collectivist who hates America, hates God, and who hates anyone who did not vote for their candidate? I can think of a lot to say, and although I may be bashful with people I don’t know, I am not in the least shy about giving an opinion when I have a chance.  But, in this case, I think I would not worry about what to say.  I would just trust the Lord to give me the right words, because the words I have would probably not come out in any way, form, or fashion as something a Christian should say.  I would probably say something like,
‘Are you blind?’
‘How can you possibly be so stupid?’
‘Do you have any idea of how utterly evil you are?’
‘If you think Islam is a religion of peace then you are ignorant on purpose.’
And, I would not use a nice tone of voice.  The problem with that sort of comment is that it is just venting.  It isn’t constructive, and it won’t do any good.  It might start a fist fight, but that is all.

Short of a miracle, these people will not be turned.  I do remember that the Apostle Paul, the man also called Saul, the man who was there at the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr, was turned by direct intervention on the part of the Lord.  So, I know that some of the leftists elite might turn, most won’t.  Our job is to just speak out when we get the chance.  We probably won’t get a chance to speak to someone in the leftist elite, but you never know.  I guess stranger things have happened.

What is likely is that we will continue to hear lie after lie spoken as the truth, and the truth disparaged as a lie.  We are dealing with a delusional world. They have their conscience seared over.  When they see wrong such as women celebrating ripping unborn babies into pieces, they celebrate instead of even shedding one tear for the innocent life that was tortured to death.  God help us.

Here we sit in America watching all the world slowly fall to pieces.  In addition to the torture of Christians and terror attacks all over the world, we are seeing an attempted political take over by the leftists in politics, media, and Hollywood.  They are fighting and inciting others to fight with every breath they take.

As Christians, we need to remember that this world is not our home, and that our job description has not changed. We are to tell the truth that Jesus Christ alone is the way that leads to everlasting life.  Whether or not we use correct and eloquent grammar, or we have poor language skills makes no difference.  We speak it.  God uses it to enlighten whoever He wants whenever He wills.  Our job is to simply deliver the message.  It might get us in a lot of trouble, but that doesn’t change our duty to speak up.  If you wonder how the Christians being persecuted are facing the torture and execution, I say don’t worry about exactly how they are dmanaging it.  Do pray for the persecuted brothers and sisters.  But, as far as understanding how they do what they do under fire is impossible.  God gives grace when it is needed.  That is far as we can go in understanding.  It is like trying to understand how people get through it when a loved one dies.  They have grace that gets them through it.  It still hurts.  I can say from experience that it hurts a lot!  Looking back, most people don’t know how they got through it. God gives grace as needed. 

The word of the Lord gives us instructions on what to do in perilous times as well as times of peace.  Nothing is accomplished without the hand of God.  God works in the times of peace, unrest, and war.  Take Zechariah 4:6 to heart.  Zechariah had a night like no one ever had before.  He had visions all night long!  He asked the Lord how these things would come to pass.  His answer was:
 ‘Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.’

Zechariah was asking the Lord about the visions he was receiving, and how all this would come to pass.  The Lord basically told Zechariah that the prophecies would not be filled by the power or might of a man, but through the Spirit of the Lord of hosts.  The Lord used Zerubbabel to accomplish His purposes, but everything was done by God and His heavenly armies. 

This is a specific prophecy.  However, we can apply this to our own lives when facing difficulties or in everyday life.  All accomplishments are by the power of the Lord.  Sometimes we work very hard toward a goal and achieve that goal. We are just the means the Lord used to get the job done.  It was His power.  So, don’t be outcome based in your thinking.  Of course do have a hoped for outcome in any endeavor, but ultimately all you can do is the best you can do. Be action based.  Do your job with the best of your ability in a consistent manner.  Exactly how it turns out is in the hands of the Lord.

Matthew 6:34 says,
‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Don’t waste your time worrying about tomorrow.  Just take care of what needs to be done today.  The future does look bleak from a worldly view point.  Christians are facing more persecution every day.  Working people are being taxed into poverty. Sedition against the government is mainstream.  Blah, blah, blah.  You already know what is going on.  The Bible tells us not to focus on tomorrow.  Just do your job today.  Whatever comes to pass, Christians are safe from hell.  There is a reunion at the throne of God for all believers. 

However, we do need a plan that includes getting our work done and if necessary self-defense.  We are not required to bury our heads in the sand and ignore trouble and danger.  We are just not supposed to worry about the outcome. 

Nehemiah chapter 4 gives a wonderful example of how extreme danger was handled while getting a very important job done.  The walls of Jerusalem were in ruin. That left the city defenseless in case of an armed invasion.  Nehemiah had a burden to rebuild the walls of the city.  The king gave Nehemiah permission to go to Jerusalem and build up the walls.  He gave him all the building materials that he needed.  So off he went to Jerusalem to get to work.  As usual, there were some who did not want to see the work of the Lord done.  They set up all sorts of roadblocks for Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem who had a mind to work.  The Jews rebuilding the walls worked and were ready to defend if necessary.  Please – read the entire chapter – or the entire book. Here are a few verses on how Nehemiah responded to the opposition and the danger they faced. Here is just a part of Nehemiah’s story.
    And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work.
16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.
17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
18 For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.
19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another.
20 In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us: our God shall fight for us.
21 So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared.
22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and labour on the day.
23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.’

Every man was armed. 
Every man was ready to defend. 
Every man worked.
So, if you have any doubts about national or personal defense, or the right to bear arms, look no farther than Nehemiah chapter 4 to see what the Bible says. 

An aside here is my opinion that in addition to the workmen being armed that the women, the disabled, the elderly, and those considered too young to work at rebuilding the walls were also armed to the level that weapons were available and they were physically able.

Something to think about is that what we are seeing in the world today is nothing new.  The devil and his followers have been fighting against God and His children since the beginning of time.  When reading the Bible we can see times of terrible turmoil and danger.  In these times the Lord either took His children through the turmoil, or took them out of it.  The Lord isn’t going to forsake us.  His power is still without limits.  Bible prophecy tells us about some things that are going to happen in the future.  It does not give us exact time lines, or personal prophecies concerning our own lives.  It does tell us everything we need to know to be saved and how to behave during our lives.  We are to be obedient to the commands given to us in the Bible.  The Bible is relevant to every age whether it is in line with what is considered socially acceptable or not.  It is still completely true.  And it is complete or sufficient.  We don’t need any new revelation or prophecies from the Lord.  We just need to read the Bible, and apply its teachings to personal actions. The cleft of the rock for believers in Jesus Christ is faith that our God is able to do far more than we even think or ask.  

The world may crumble politically, socially, and eventually physically, but Christians are eternally safe in Jesus Christ.  Just a little longer and our work will be done. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do You Think Evangelists are Obnoxious? Think Again!

Why ‘Obnoxious Evangelists’ Are NOT Really Obnoxious
Barbara Henderson

Evangelicals are loosely defined as Christians who work to show lost people the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Many people ignore them, and many more prefer they never be bothered again by an evangelist telling them about Jesus.  They see evangelicals as ‘holier than thou’ people who want to add a feather to their ‘converted’ cap.  Seriously, this is not the case.  I am going to give you some very compassionate reasons that evangelicals want to convert you.

First, they don’t want you personally to miss heaven.  The deep and abiding concern of the true evangelist is to show you the way to eternal life in a place that is utterly and continually perfect.  That is heaven.  And – those who miss heaven definitely go to a place called hell.  It is place without one single gift from God Almighty.  That means in hell there are:
·         No relationships – no family – no friends – no loved ones.  No one will have the capacity to form a relationship of any sort. You will be alone – more alone than you ever imagined possible.
·         No hope – in this life we have hope of better days ahead, whether we are hoping for better relationships, better jobs, better health, better finances – there is always hope that tomorrow will be better.  In hell, there is no hope because things will never be better than the horror the inhabitants of hell live with every day.
·         No beauty – everything will be ugly.  Are you someone who enjoys the beauty of nature or art?  Well – guess what.  Those things are gifts from God, and they will not be in hell. 
·         No light.  According to the Bible before God made the sun and the moon He had already divided the light from the dark.  The light was the light of God.  Hell will be a dark place completely devoid of the light of God.  Absolutely nothing of God will be in hell.

Second, they will miss you if you don’t go to heaven.  Let me repeat – if you don’t go to heaven there will be some people there who miss you and are broken hearted that you made a choice that separates you from God eternally.  That means you are separated from people who loved you on this earth.  You will be separated from people who barely knew you, but tried to show you the way to heaven.  It is going to be sad, but only sad for a time; because, eventually God Himself will wipe away all tears from all the faces of His children, and then we won’t remember you anymore.  That mom who prayed for you to be saved?  God will bless her by causing her to forget you entirely.  That dad, or sister, or brother, or your own child who prayed for you and tried to point you to Christ – they will forget you too.  Friends – true friends – who told you how to reach heaven will forget you. 

So, the next time an evangelist or a Christian friend tries to ‘convert you’, think about it from their perspective.  They aren’t trying to add a notch on their ‘souls converted’ pistol handle.  They are trying to show you how to avoid the place of horror called hell, and gain the eternal place of joy and gladness that is heaven.  The Bible tells us that eyes haven’t seen, nor ears heard, or entered into the heart of man what God has for them that love them.  Seriously, the wonder of heaven is currently beyond our capacity to understand. 

Recently, my brother sent me a quote from the tombstone of my GG Grandfather.  The man was a preacher, a lawman, and a physician.  I am not sure about his ‘lawman’ actions.  It is recorded that he once gave two young men a ticket for walking by the church on Sunday with their shirt tails hanging out.  Apparently, he took his preaching very seriously – because this is what he had written on his tombstone.
     ‘Dear wife, children, friends, one and all,
      my work down here on earth is done. 
      My Savior called me to Him.
      Come each dear one, and with us live.’

Until you personally become a Christian you cannot possibly understand the motivation Evangelicals have to show people the way to Christ.  You personally have only two choices.  You will spend eternity in heaven or hell.  Those are your options.  Please take heed to make an informed choice!  Don’t reject Christ because you don’t like the messenger.  That is like rejecting a rescue cargo ship while you were sinking on the Titanic because you wanted to be rescued by a luxury liner!

If I were standing with you now and talking to you about how to get to heaven I would want you to understand that.

I want you to go to heaven because I want you to know the joy of being adopted by God Himself, and I want you to miss the horror of hell.
I want you to go to heaven because if you miss heaven – I will miss you personally. 

Then I would tell you how to be saved.  That is when you recognize you are a sinner – which is someone who is not perfect.  You may have a lot of good excuses for your sins, but you are still not utterly continually perfect like God is.  That is why the Bible tells us that you are saved by grace and not of works.  There is no work a mortal can do that would allow you to meet God’s standard for utter and continual perfection.  Salvation has to be by the grace of God, seeing as we cannot attain the necessary perfection in any other way.  The Bible tells us that to get hold on that grace you simply go to God the Father through Christ the Son.  Christ’s sinless perfection is given to us and we are allowed to go into heaven, where we are adopted by Go the Father, made joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and live there for ever.

Are you angry or think it unfair that God made only one way into heaven?  Why?  Seriously – why does that bother you?  It is one way that has room for everyone.  It cost the life of God’s own Son to make one way into heaven.  Everyone gets a first class invitation.  How could you possible expect God to make another way? 

Let’s look a few reasons for one way. 
First, there is no other way that honestly offers you way to enter heaven.  These other ways are deceiving you.  They are offering you hell.
Second, there is no other way that can possibly provide the completely perfect sacrifice necessary to make you perfect – which is what is required to enter into the perfection of heaven.
Third, if imperfect people were allowed into heaven, then heaven wouldn’t be perfect anymore would it?
Fourth, please keep in mind that Christians are not perfect at this point in time. So, don’t expect them to be perfect. Perfections is waiting for us in heaven through Jesus Christ.  If you want to know about perfect, then read the Bible.   There was one perfect man – and that was Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man.

There is an old Christian hymn ‘God is Calling the Prodigal’.  The chorus says, ‘Oh, weary prodigal come’.  Are you weary today?  God is truly calling now for you – Oh weary prodigal come.

Another hymn is ‘Careless Soul – O head thy warning’.  I am posting links and lyrics to both songs.

God is Calling the Prodigal
Calling the prodigal Hymn

God is calling the prodigal, come without delay,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee.
Tho’ you’ve wandered so far from His presence, come today,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come;
Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come.

Patient, loving and tenderly still the Father pleads,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Oh! return while the Spirit in mercy intercedes,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Come, there’s bread in the house of the Father, and to spare,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Lo! the table is spread and the feast is waiting there,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Careless Soul (Oh how sad to face the judgment unprepared to meet thy God)

Careless soul, why will you linger?
Wandering from the fold of God?
Hear you not the invitation?
O prepare to meet thy God.


Careless soul, O heed the warning,
For your life will soon be gone;
O how sad to face the judgment
Unprepared to meet thy God.

Why so thoughtless are you standing
While the fleeting years go by,
And your life is spent in folly?
O prepare to meet thy God.


Hear you not the earnest pleadings
Of your friends that wish you well?
And perhaps before tomorrow
You’ll be called to meet your God.


If you spurn the invitation
Till the Spirit shall depart,
Then you’ll see your sad condition,
Unprepared to meet thy God.