Archive for the ‘Faith and Life’ Category

Two more mass shootings over the weekend in Ohio and Texas sparked another frenzy as liberals in the media renew their campaign for gun control. Others demand solutions to the mental health crisis, still others say shootings occur because of the alienation of young men today or fatherless homes. Progressive politicians – including former president, Barack Obama as well as many 2020 Democrat hopefuls blame President Trump. CNN and MSNBC concur, and falsely accuse Trump of promoting white supremacy.

There may be reasonable solutions to be considered and I don’t mean to oversimplify a very complicated issue, but few seem to suggest let alone address man’s greatest problem: sin. The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart.

In a culture where discipline and respect for authority is lacking, where people have bowed to the god of self-fulfillment, where narcissists abound, and where young people are coddled and not given healthy boundaries, it’s no wonder darkness and violence are increasing. 

But there is a natural and spiritual law that affects every human being, like it or not: you will reap what you sow. 

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Prophet Jeremiah said, 

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

One glaring problem in our society is the rejection of any fixed moral anchors with which to guide and govern people. Chaos and godlessness are the result. Another clear consequence of removing the one true God from public places is that the culture of death spreads like a disease. 

For example, abortion is the number one killer in the world today. More lives are eliminated under the guise of “choice” than from cancer, heart disease, accidents, and of course, gun violence. 

Planned Parenthood alone commits over 900 abortions every single day (that’s one death every 95 seconds) and as a whole, all abortion clinics, businesses, and providers in the U.S. commit about 3,600 abortions a day. 

…Solutions aren’t easy, but in the book of Ecclesiastes, one of the wisest men to have lived on earth put it this way: 

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

READ FULL ARTICLE:

*video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

Big tech censors conservatives and the media yawns. With mounting evidence, Facebook, Google, and YouTube seem to be doing to the Internet what the radical, socialist Left has done to American universities: giving lip service to the idea of free speech. If you’re Christian, conservative, Jewish, or Republican, you can have your beliefs, but just keep them to yourself, thank you very much.

The individuals and organizations that have been affected by censorship are too many to list here. While Antifa, which supposedly means “anti-fascist,” holds their intolerant and violent ‘Hate Trump’ protests, Facebook is banning accounts, Google is censoring search results, and Youtube is taking down or deleting conservative videos.

Big tech is monitoring our speech; but who’s monitoring them?

The danger here is obvious: No person or company should be deciding what the public gets to see and what they do not based on individuals in high positions determining what’s important or newsworthy. The biased, liberal media in America already does this so it is vital we fight for both sides to be heard or at least fight to maintain freedom of speech.

Remember what the Obama administration IRS did to Christian and conservative non-profits? One difference here is we’re in the arena of social media.

Prior to a subcommittee hearing last week on Big Tech companies censoring conservatives, Senator Ted Cruz said the Department of Justice should investigate Google for fraud and breach of contract. Cruz chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, and in a Fox News interview, he compared Big Tech’s censorship practices to those of Big Brother in the novel, “1984”: 

“You know, in George Orwell’s famous book, “1984,” the way Big Brother controlled its power, the way the state controlled its power, is it controlled information. …We see, in the Big Tech media companies, that same, exact power; Google is abusing its monopoly powers. We have antitrust laws to deal with that,”

Suggesting these big companies have a political agenda, which they do, and saying they’re guilty of fraud and deceiving the consumer, Cruz continued: 

“When you sign up, say with a Facebook or Twitter, you assume that, if you follow someone, you’ll see their tweets, you’ll see their posts. Likewise, you assume if someone follows you, they’ll see what you tweet and what you post. That’s not, in fact, what’s happening. What’s happening is the social media sites are censoring, they’re shadow banning. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they just hide what you’re saying.

Christian conservative author and vlogger, Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy recently stated:

“The big tech companies like Facebook and Google are trying to choke us out, and have demonetized our content, cutting off our income that helped sustain our ministry. [We must] fight back against the progressive agenda and biased censorship.”

Conservative radio talk show host, author Dennis Prager created, “Prager Universityand puts out free, short educational videos on subjects “important to understanding American values” — ranging from the astronomical cost of higher education to the motivations of the Islamic State. YouTube has been restricting many of these videos by labeling them as violent or having sexual content.

Prager filed a lawsuit and recently testified before Congress on Capitol Hill that Google violates the First Amendment by censoring conservatives. PragerU stated:

“There is no excuse for Google and YouTube censoring and restricting any PragerU videos, which are produced with the sole intent of educating people of all ages about America’s founding values,”

Next, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the social media company chose to block American pro-life groups from running ads. President of Live Action, Lila Rose tweeted that Zuckerberg blocked their ads, while Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg donated $2 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Twitter also banned Rose and Live Action’s pro-life ads, but naturally, they allow Planned Parenthood ads.

Journalist, James O’Keefe has gone through this for years due to uncovering many scandals exposing the left. Just last month, YouTube pulled down a Project Veritas video that showed Pinterest’s anti-Christian bias. An insider told O’Keefe that Pinterest listed Live Action as pornographic. They also censored Bible verses!  

Then, shortly after Project Veritas sent out their story by Twitter, their account was locked down for allegedly distributing communications belonging to another party. 

Okeefe tweeted:

Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of Christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it.

Listed on the Project Veritas website:

  • “Tech Insider Blows Whistle on How Pinterest Listed Top Pro-Life Site as Porn, “Bible Verses” Censored
  • Insider: Search Term “Christian” Won’t Auto-Complete, Others Can’t Trend…
  • Pinterest Blacklisted Pro-Life Group LiveAction.org, Classified as “Pornography,”
  • Leaked “Sensitive Terms List” Includes “bible verses” and “christian easter”
  • Ben Shapiro Commentary Censored…
  • Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Marked as “harmful,” Conspiracy
  • BIG UPDATE: YouTube has PULLED this investigative report. A backup is available on his page.” 

A popular Christian ministry helping people understand the times and contend for the faith, Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministries, was briefly shut down four years ago by YouTube.

Christian radio program, Stand Up for the Truth has been shadow-banned on Facebook for several years now.

My colleagues at Freedom Project were recently “shadow banned” for an entire week on Facebook. Shadow-banning means you can still post content but nobody sees your post: it does not show up in people’s news feed. The only way someone sees it is if they happen to go directly to the Freedom Project Facebook page.

Educator and host of the Dr. Duke Show, Duke Pesta states:

“It is hypocritical in the extreme for Facebook to claim its commitment to free speech while simultaneously handcuffing conservative content that starts to become popular and in demand. If you’re a conservative rising in popularity, you can speak, but they won’t let anyone listen.”

Full story and video at DavidFiorazo.com

Lovers of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge want to snuff out Christmas for the majority of Americans. Sure, you’re allowed to sing about Rudolf and Frosty, you can make it all about Santa and presents, jingle some bells or roast chestnuts by an open fire, but don’t you dare mention Jesus Christ and the real meaning of Christmas! 

It should be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the season that atheists and activists feverishly push the agenda to blot out God. 

Their hearts are so hardened, they not only refuse to believe in Jesus and Christmas, but since misery loves company, they don’t want anyone else to believe it either! They don’t mind the commercialism and greed around the holiday; they just insist you to say ‘happy holidays’ instead of Merry Christmas.

This joyful season began because God so loved the world, but they want to censor the celebration and eradicate Christ from Christmas. But is that even possible?

You cannot divorce the true, historical event of the Child born in Bethlehem from the God of creation and the reason we celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the atheists and God-haters won’t try.

After all, they were successful removing Christianity from public schools so they figure, why not ban Christmas as well?

More news stories are on the way, I’m sure. But here are a few to consider.

  • A middle school in Virginia recently decided not to allow any holiday songs that mention the name of Jesus.
  • In Newaygo, Michigan, secularists demand the elementary school remove three wise men displayed on the top of the school building.
  • A principal at a Nebraska school has banned Christmas carols, the colors red and green, candy canes, and Jesus.

This next one may be hard to believe,

  • Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is being called “seriously problematic” for bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia. 
  • Just one more: the Huffington Post and other far-left outlets are telling people that saying “Merry Christmas” excludes people, so teach children to say “Happy Holidays” instead. I agree with Paul Bois at the Daily Wire who says it’s hypocritical for business owners and managers to decorate their stores or websites in red, green and all the rest, play Christmas music and then say “Happy Holidays.” He adds:

Christmas is the national holiday; the reason for the season. The ornaments, the lights, the music, the food, the shopping even, all reflect that; …If it looks like Christmas, smells like Christmas, sounds like Christmas, then just say Christmas.

But the annual war on Christmas is here, like it or not, and we need to decide how to respond.

First, remember that these people are lost and are far from God. They hate Christmas and often Christians as well, and need our patience and prayers because they have no real hope or peace. They’ve not yet experienced the love God has for them if they’d just turn to Him and confess their sins. That’s why Jesus was born – “the Word became flesh…(John 1:14)” and preached, “Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2).”

Second, make no mistake: this is a war on Jesus Christ. Those who are trying to blot out reminders of God by removing Christmas traditions like manger scenes and joy filled greetings simply don’t want to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as “Mighty God.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus nearly 700 years before He was born:

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no lasting peace in this world. Know Jesus, know peace. What did Isaiah mean by referring to Him as Everlasting Father? Jesus is Lord and eternal, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. There was never a time when Jesus did not exist. He continues from generation to generation, and His kingdom will never end.

The meaning of Christmas is based on true, actual events including angels appearing to shepherds (Luke 2) and a baby born at just the right time in history in order to redeem mankind (Galatians 4:4). Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is saying we desire for them to know the love, joy, and forgiveness of God as we do.

President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins said:

Why is something as simple as saying “Merry Christmas” so important? It reminds a hurting world of the greatest gift we can receive in Jesus Christ, and it symbolizes the freedom to celebrate that gift.

Don’t just remember the reason for the season; that Christ was born to save mankind by His sacrifice on the cross. Share the good news of salvation and let your light shine by loving others and wishing them a heartfelt, “Merry Christmas!” And make sure to have one yourself!

Was Jesus created or is He the Creator? On this doctrine, eternity depends. Is He the Messiah and is the Bible true?

If Jesus Christ is God and if the Bible is inspired – literally “God-breathed” by the Holy Spirit – then everything Jesus said and taught is true. If everything He said is true, then Christians had better understand what the Scriptures say about Him and obey his teachings. Jesus stated:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.(Luke 21:22)

For this study, we are well beyond the ridiculous claim some people make that Jesus was a myth and never existed. One young woman said He was “made up by religious people in order to control society.” This is complete ignorance of the evidence, history, archaeology, prophecy, and of course, hundreds of eye-witnesses who saw the risen Christ.

Then there are those who say, “That’s your truth, not mine. I evolved, I wasn’t created.” Are there many ways to the only living God or is there a narrow path we must take by faith?

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet recently said, “These four things are true for all people: Christ is risen, Christ is Lord, Christ will restore all things, and we are called to this time and place in history.”

Sermon video:

We know and believe Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord, and our faith is based upon not only His finished work on the cross, but on His divinity and humanity. Let’s dig-in to the doctrine of the God-Man.

For example, in Colossians 2:9, Paul writes about Christ:

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,”

“Fullness” is from the Greek word, “plērōma, a recognized term in theology denoting the totality of divine powers and attributes found in Christ. The verse further adds “all fullness.” Jesus was and is 100% God — not 99.44%. 

But why did Paul add, in bodily form? In Greek philosophical thought, matter was evil; spirit was good. It was unthinkable that God would ever lower Himself to take on a human body. BUT He did! 

Still today, mockers insist Jesus was just a man; a good man perhaps, but certainly not God.

The third and fourth century Trinitarian Controversy focused on the mystery of the incarnation and the relationship between the Father and the Son (both of Whom were called ‘God’ by Christian monotheists). What does it mean regarding the divine nature that the Son had taken on flesh, died, and was raised for the sake of humanity?

For the growth of Christianity, this was a historical moment of intense struggle in church history to establish a common language by which to state the doctrine of faith without distortion, and in a manner that would do justice to the God Christians worship.

CLICK TO SEE FULL POST FOR STUDY NOTES, COMMENTARY, AND REFERENCES!

You’ll also notice Christ’s two states, humiliation and exaltation. Christ not only took upon him the likeness and fashion, or form of a man, but one in a low state; His whole life was a life of poverty and suffering. But the lowest step was his dying the death of the cross, exposed to public hatred and scorn.”

The exaltation was of Christ’s human nature, in union with the Divine. At the name of Jesus, not the mere sound of the word, but the authority of Jesus, all should pay homage. It is to the glory of the Father, to confess Jesus Christ is Lord; it’s his will, that all men should honor the Son as they honor the Father, (John 5:23).

Now the hymn

Philippians 2:5-11 –

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exaltedHim, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

This Thanksgiving season, there’s good news and there’s bad news and it may depend on your perspective. As you know, most of our founders came to this bountiful land to live in freedom from religious persecution, and their standards were based on the principles in the Holy Bible. And yet, here we are in 2018 – hanging on by a thread to the religious freedoms this nation has enjoyed – and has taken for granted. 

Though we’re seeing a toxic increase of hatred, we can be still thankful for our history – and especially for hope.

The very first Thanksgiving took place almost 400 years ago—long before the nation was even born. But prior to arriving on these shores, William Bradford, the founder of Plymouth colony settlement wrote:

“…Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony.”

God is a big part of our history and always has been. The United States Congress once issued an official Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Prayer on October 18, 1780, calling on Americans “to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread all over the Earth.”

Sadly, true American history has been edited or even deleted from public school text books. We have forgotten that the good news of Jesus Christ was once foundational to our liberties as well as our lives and as a result of our forgetting, the nation has gone from spiritual to secular. Proverbs 14:34 states:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

Lincoln was right. He implored the people to confess their sins, and to pray for forgiveness and God’s mercy on America.

Today, we are plagued by political correctness and moral relativism, lawlessness, people calling good evil and evil good, a loss of values, and the breakdown of social order. Moreover, Hollywood and the culture have a far greater influence on the church than the church has in and on our culture.

Signs of the times indicate this nation is in rapid decline, but how long do we really have? This is up for debate and speculation. But let’s consider some of the cultural, social, and spiritual symptoms common to nations that have fallen or have been destroyed:

  • Increasing rebellion against God
  • A loss of economic discipline
  • Greed; increased materialism
  • Rising government bureaucracy and taxes
  • Declining education in quality, morality, and in measurable results
  • Lack of respect for authority
  • Policies based on feelings over facts
  • The acceptance of foreign gods and empty religious practices
  • The promotion of sin and perversion
  • A decline in value of human life leading to abortion and euthanasia

Perhaps instead of asking God to bless America we should be asking Him to save us! Repentance must come first, and Christians must lead by example. If your heart is heavy reading some of this, know there is a God who loves you and wants you to turn back to Him.

If you tend to be on social media or look at the news a little too much, at government, public schools, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or culture in general, it can be quite discouraging. But if we look at all the things we each have personally and at this country in which we’re blessed to live, we can be thankful and we can take heart.

First, there’s always hope in the promises of God which the Bible describes as an anchor to our souls during storms in life. Second, if Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of your faith, your foundation won’t be shaken as it is built upon the Rock and you know all this is temporary.

Third, as imperfect as it is, we still live in one of the most amazing countries on earth. We have countless blessings, conveniences, and advantages as citizens of this beacon of freedom. Why do you think millions of less fortunate people dream about living in America? Many still risk their lives to come here.

And fourth, if you woke up today, opened your eyes and got out of bed; if you generally have your health, family in Christ, food on the table or in a refrigerator; if you have clean, running water, electricity, a house to live in, a car to drive, a job to go to and even some bills that are paid, you are abundantly blessed more than 75% of people in countries around the world.

I am particularly grateful for each day because by the grace of God, I had a successful heart operation in April of this year.

Every day we have so much to be thankful for, so let’s –

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.Psalm 136:1

O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. Psalm 80:3

This just in! Once again, researchers are thrilled about the possibility of life on Mars! Maybe. A recent report of water a mile underneath a slab of ice seemed to boost the odds of life on the red planet. One scientist from the University of Arizona stated if they did find life, it would be microbial, somewhere in the Martian crust.

My question is this: why don’t we use this same determined, scientific, optimistic approach to find human life on earth? We’re often told a heartbeat in a human mother’s womb is not a sign of life. Come on.

NASA’s John Grunsfeld commented on the report at a news conference:

“It suggests it would be possible for there to be life today on Mars,”

Researchers said in the journal, Nature Geoscience, that further exploration is warranted to determine whether microscopic life exists there. One of the lead scientists says the only way to know is to keep collecting rocks from Mars and doing soil analysis on the specimens. It is astounding and bewildering to me that scientists, university departments, NASA, and independent researchers have been studying for decades hoping to find evidence indicating any sign of a living organism on Mars.

What about human beings, and why all the confusion about a living, developing fetus in a mother’s womb? We know it’s certainly not just a clump of cells because dead things don’t grow!

Twenty-three chromosomes from the mother and twenty-three from the father are joined together at the time of fertilization. At this early point, the unique, genetic makeup of the individual is determined, and the terms “conception” and “fertilization” are interchangeable.

Please consider sharing some eye-opening information about a newly conceived baby:

  • Its DNA, everything she will grow into, was fully present at the moment of conception.
  • Her heart began to beat eighteen days after conception.
  • Her brainwaves were detectable forty days (six weeks) after conception.
  • Your baby could move and she could suck her thumb (and hiccup!) between six and seven weeks.
  • Eight weeks after conception, all of her major organs are developed.
  • A baby’s respiratory system begins to function, and she begins to breathe amniotic fluid at nine weeks
  • She can smile, suck her thumb, and clap at eighteen weeks.
  • A baby can feel pain at approximately twenty weeks gestation.

This last medical finding has led to what is called the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a U.S. Congress bill to ban abortions after twenty weeks, and especially late-term abortions.

A baby can feel pain, and a baby can feel joy. You may recall from the Gospel of Luke (1:43-44) when Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist said “the baby in my womb leaped for joy” when Mary visited her and was pregnant with Jesus. Since a fetus is in fact human, then destroying it is murder.

You may have heard the heartbreaking story earlier this year of 23 year-old Shelby Taylor who was recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for throwing her newborn baby girl into a dumpster – umbilical chord still attached. Someone heard the baby crying and called police, and fortunately the baby is alive today.

But wait a minute! Millions of young women simply pay Planned Parenthood to remove their babies and it’s completely legal. Please understand that when God’s law makes something immoral, man cannot make it moral.

I appreciate what author and teacher, Peter Heck said about this:

“But it is also impossible to read this story and not acknowledge a mind-bending and confounding reality: had Shelby Taylor entered a Planned Parenthood facility that very day and had her baby girl decapitated and dismembered for a price, our society would justify that as a moral right of empowerment and liberty. But since she waited a couple hours and, with as horrible as her act of callous abandonment was, still gave her child a fighting chance at survival, she is going to prison for 25 years. This is not just morally incongruent, it is the height of absurdity…”

You do know what they do with all the baby body parts after ripping them out of a mother’s womb, don’t you? If they’re not sold for research they end up in dumpsters outside abortion clinics. Or perhaps you’re in denial like so many people whose consciences have been seared by a hot iron.

What does Scripture teach? See Jeremiah 1:4-5, Exodus 21:22-24, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:39-44.

The Bible treats babies in the womb as real persons. Verse after verse relating to pregnancy always refers to a living human being already in existence. It is crystal clear that God considers the unborn to be human beings who have value and should be protected.

As far as life on Mars goes – no confirmation yet. It’s pretty foggy and we may be waiting for a while.

You’ve probably heard the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips; that the State violated his religious freedom when they punished him for operating his business according to his Christian faith.

Even though the Court ruled 7-2 Monday in favor of Phillips who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, we must not relax. This is good, yes, but it is an incremental victory in the religious freedom battle. Expect LGBTQ activists to regroup and react with force.

Unbelievably, Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner, Diann Rice once compared Phillips to a Nazi because he believes in natural marriage. Ironically, Phillip’s father was a WWII veteran who helped storm the beaches of Normandy and liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Regarding the decision, Justice Kennedy wrote:

“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,”

Unfortunately, the court said the broader issue of whether a business can deny service of gays and lesbians “must await further elaboration.”

But for now, as Justice Clarence Thomas added:

“Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.”

Good for Jack Phillips, but it seems the Court lacked courage to tackle the First Amendment question which is why some are calling the 7-2 ruling “narrow.”

This battle is spiritual and Satan is a defeated foe, but at the same time, expect the bullying of Christian business owners to increase. Preachers of tolerance have no problem forcing others to live in a way that goes against deeply held beliefs.

For example, an Oregon business filed a lawsuit last week against a church that turned down hosting an LGBT event in a building owned by the church due to its “morals clause.”

This just months after a Christian couple, also in Oregon, lost their bakery over their refusal to bake a cake for a gay wedding and were forced to pay activists $135,000 by court ruling. Former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, had their freedoms trampled when they lost their appeal last December. 

In this new case, Holy Rosary Church of Portland, is being sued by Ambridge Event Center, who claims their business was damaged by the decision. Ambridge once rented out a space for various events but the church rejected a request from an African-American LGBT support group.

But churches in America can no longer freely abide by the moral teachings of the Bible. And if you fail to comply, look out! They are seeking – get this – $2.3 million in damages!

Christians seem to have two options: go along with and celebrate sinful behavior that is against biblical teachings, or pay the penalty – whatever price they see fit to enforce. So what now?

The late theologian, John Stott summed it up well when he said:

“We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather we should ask, “What has happened to the salt and light?”

How did we reach this present darkness where the foundations of not only culture but the church in America are crumbling? I’ve written a few books on the topic, but these things are certain: leftists will not relent on their agendas, and though God is still on His throne, Christians clearly do not have the influence we used to have on the nation. If we did, things such as the definition and meaning of marriage would not be debated.

We sure could use more watchmen on the wall willing to speak the truth in love and stand against evil at the same time. It is possible and necessary to do both.

Just a week ago I was in the hospital after having a procedure on my heart and guess what? Here I am, thank God! But not everybody makes it through surgery. In fact, not everybody makes it home from work.

It brings up the question of the ages: What happens to us after we die? Well, that depends.

What if I died on the operating table? First of all, this video wouldn’t exist. My body would’ve been prepared for a funeral, and my spirit would be on its way to be with my Master and Savior in Heaven; the One who created us all.

You may be thinking, ‘how can I be so sure?’ Faith. The Bible offers assurance of eternal life with Christ in Heaven for those who believe.

I realize most people would rather not think about it, but ten out of ten people die. Life comes to an end for people from every country, of all different ages, for various reasons. No one is exempt.

It’s just a matter of time.

Almost everyone has heard the Bible verse, John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus died on the cross to bridge the gap between us and a holy God. Every one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, and when Jesus returns, He will judge those still living as well as those who have died.

For better context, let’s keep reading. Here’s John 3:17 and 18:

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 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 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”

Faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ can save us from our sins.

Prior to my surgery last week, I had to sign a consent form. Even before that, I was told of all the possible risks and complications including a torn heart muscle, punctured lung, torn artery, partial paralysis, stroke during the operation or even death.

The list of possible risks was long, but the absolute greatest risk we can take in this life is denying God by refusing to believe in His Son, Jesus, and not accepting the free offer of the forgiveness of our sins.

Acts 4:12 states: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”

And Philippians 2:9-11 says:

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

One day, even those who refused to believe will bow before the King of Kings upon His return.

I was at peace going in to surgery because I trusted Jesus with my life years ago, and knew regardless of the result, it would be a win win. This life is a vapor and for the Christian, we live for Him and to die is gain!

Forgiveness for our sins is mankind’s greatest need. In America, we’ve heard so much about a loving God and rarely hear about His coming judgment. It’s true God is loving, but He is not tolerant of sin in any form.

We’ve also heard the man-made idea God just wants us to be happy, problem-free, and give us favor so that every day’s a Friday and we can live our best life now.

Do you really believe the Bible teaches about personal gain and happiness rather than about denying ourselves and holiness? In addition, if every day were a Friday, let’s just party like it’s 2099. Finally, if we could live our best lives now, here on earth, then why would we need God and what’s Heaven for anyway?

Now, plenty of people think all it takes to go to Heaven is to be a good person, but the question is, ‘good’ by whose standards? Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Sure, we can do good things, but can we truly be good without God?

The Bible teaches there is nothing we can possibly do to earn salvation. If we could do it on our own, then Jesus didn’t have to be die for our sins and be raised from the dead. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10

Open your hands and receive the free gift of life. Salvation is not a result of good deeds – but of faith. It’s true God prepared good things for us to do, but – what we do doesn’t save us; it’s who we believe in and why.

So repent of your sins, confess them to God. Trust in Jesus Christ, and tell others this good news, the gospel, the power of God to save us (Romans 1:16). He will be faithful to complete the work He began in us and then, take us to glory when our time here is done.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media

Vice President Mike Pence says God speaks to him, but some call it mental illness. Oprah says God will speak to her if He wants her to run for president, and liberals cheer. Is this glaring double standard the new normal?

It’s not just Joy Behar. Christianity is generally not tolerated in Hollywood and the entertainment industry. And they’re not shy about it.

But in a recent interview with Ann Silvio on 60 Minutes Overtime, billionaire entrepreneur, Oprah Winfrey said she hasn’t heard God’s call to run for president, “Because if God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kinda tell me?”

And on The View recently, a clip was played of disgruntled White House staffer Omarosa Manigault trashing Mike Pence as an “extreme Christian” who has conversations with Jesus. The View panel then proceeded to mock the VP’s faith.

Behar ignorantly cackled,

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

One of the best responses I’ve heard was from Fox & Friends co-host, Ainsley Earhardt, a Christian herself:

“…she [Behar] doesn’t know Christ. She doesn’t know the joy and the love that He provides to so many people, so it just made me feel sorry for her.”

By the way, Pence didn’t say He heard voices. He said what millions of us believe regarding our relationship with Jesus Christ and how God speaks to us in various ways.

Speaking of double standards, what about Hillary Clinton who apparently still communes with the dead? Even hubby Bill reminded an audience several years back that she hears from Eleanor Roosevelt frequently. I haven’t heard a peep on that, have you?

So, on last week’s episode, after claiming people in Indiana hate the Vice President, View co-host, Sunny Hostin stated:

“When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we’re in a dangerous situation.”

Dangerous? We’re not talking about ISIS here; not bomb threats, a viral outbreak, rape, or a shooting rampage. These women are referring to the Christian faith.

Mike Pence responded saying “it’s just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance.”

Aside from religion, on previous episodes, Hostin referred to Pence as incompetent, and Whoopi Goldberg once compared Mike Pence to a member of the KKK who wanted to hang her on a tree. Seriously?

At least one person confronted the twisted dialogue on The View. Meghan McCain said:

“I understand, if you’re a liberal, obviously you have certain problems with Mike Pence. …We see the world through very different veneers.”

Some people do have wrong ideas about what it means to be a Christian. Joy Behar once said Timothy McVeigh was a Christian, and Goldberg actually claimed:

“There have been a lot of horrifying – there have been a lot of monster Christians. Hitler was a Christian.”

Sorry ladies. Wrong on both counts. Do some research.

Remember when Masterpiece Cake Shop owner, Jack Phillips was on The View and said endorsing a same-sex wedding and baking a cake for it would contradict Jesus’ teachings. Speaking for the Lord, Behar declared,

“Oh come on. Jesus would have made the cake.”

And in June 2017, the entire lineup on The View blamed Christians for taking away free contraception. I’m not kidding. Joy Behar asked, “How is it different from the Taliban? Let’s not forget they are trying to keep women in their place, barefoot and pregnant.”

I’m almost speechless.

Back to Oprah for a moment. Over at CBS on Sunday, 60 Minutes devoted 11 minutes to Oprah Winfrey’s conversation with Michigan voters. She asked people about accusations against Donald Trump and, of course, his mental health.

“There have been some members of Congress, including Republicans, questioning his stability and fitness for office. What do you think of that, and do you believe he has the temperament to be president?”

Regarding her “mental illness” comments, Franklin Graham weighed in saying all believers should be alarmed by the anti-Christian rhetoric on The View. He continued,

“For Joy Behar to say that all Christians are mentally ill is like suggesting we need to lock them up. They need to be taken out of society…”

Bigotry against any group is absolutely wrong, but if Joy Behar had said that about gays, feminists, or Muslims, she’d probably be fired on the spot. Criticizing Christ followers however, now gets a pass.

This is what often happens when someone on the left doesn’t understand something, especially spiritual things: they tend to attack or criticize it.

This may explain why many don’t even try cracking open a Bible.

 

Here’s Mike Pence’s first response to the debacle:

“I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I’d like to laugh about it, but I really can’t. It’s just wrong; and it’s an insult …to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life.”

“But I just think [this] demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that…”

Isn’t it nice to have someone in the White House defending Christians?

At the risk of stating the obvious, for centuries, millions of believers have claimed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He speaks to us in various ways including through Scripture.

We shouldn’t expect unbelievers to have biblical morals. They need the gospel and ironically, they need to talk to Jesus and confess their sins.

The good news is Americans are not only calling out ABC over this, but thanks to Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center, over 25,000 phone calls have been made so far demanding an apology.

Unless advertisers back out of sponsoring The View, I’m not holding my breath. Jesus said,

In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

 

 

*A shorter version of this article originally appeared at Freedom Project Media.

It’s hard to run the race and press on to what lies ahead without forgetting the past. For some of us, it’s about time to let go of excess baggage – and that includes idealizing parts of our past. According to the Bible, our best days are yet to come! Do you believe this? We must not fall into a trap of dwelling on the past – good times or bad – or we might miss what God wants to do today (Is. 43:18-19).

Every day we’re alive is one day closer to Heaven and the return of Jesus Christ. But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

With all that’s going on in this country, things can appear darker than ever. Biblical morality, common decency, and Godly values have eroded over many decades and religious freedom has been chipped away. But our faith does not rest in the things of this world.

When we make the quality decision to give our anxieties, past experiences, and concerns to the Lord, we can have that peace that passes all understanding, the peace which can guard our hearts and minds in Christ (Phil. 4:6-7).

…For those tempted to think about the good old days, God gives us some wise instruction:

Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this. Ecclesiastes 7:10

Be honest. Have you heard someone reminisce about a fond memory and ask, ‘why were the old days better?’ Maybe you’ve done so yourself, perhaps with a sigh.

We fall into this trap of the temporary when we lose sight of the eternal. We think we should be comfortable, prosperous, and pain-free. This is the abundant life, we are told, which is a residual effect of American churchianity (not biblical Christianity) and “Your Best Life Now” theology. Where does Scripture support these ideas?

Are we living for Christ with eternity in view, concerned about people’s souls or are we living for self and things of this world? The reality is life isn’t all fun, games, roses, vacations, and laughs. Let’s regain our biblical perspective, grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus and understand our days are numbered.

…Hold memories loosely, set your mind on things above, and live in the present – in His presence – so you can do the work God prepared for you to do. (Col. 3:1-2, Eph. 2:10)

Be thankful for how far God has brought you and for what He has allowed in your life. Keep the faith and always remember you and I are (still) here to glorify the name of Jesus and point people to salvation through Him.

Read the full post by David Fiorazo: