Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

If Jesus rebuked many of the early churches for straying, leaving their first love, putting up with false doctrine, or for being lukewarm, how could we, American Christians, think He wouldn’t harshly rebuke many of our seeker-sensitive, shallow, lukewarm churches today?

Some might claim the Church is thriving here in the United States of Entertainment. I would ask them why then doesn’t it translate out into society. Who is driving culture today, Christians or atheists and secular progressives? Biblical morality or godlessness?

The truth is too many professing believers have generally conformed to the world and have failed to defend and preserve culture through Judeo-Christian values. We are to be salt in society: to not only flavor and enhance culture but to influence it as well. Salt is a preservative, but it can also irritate, especially if it touches an exposed wound. Paul told believers at Ephesus to walk as children of light and,

Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; (Eph. 5:11)

Too many in American churches do just the opposite! We accommodate popular sins (abortion and homosexuality). Why? Because the Supreme Court ruled they are legal, of course. But just because something is legal does not make it moral. Has the Supreme Ruler and Judge changed His mind on certain sins? Not at all!

We have watered down the Word of God and have lost our saltiness and power to transform society for good. Some larger churches have a reputation for being alive, but their discipleship and doctrine is rather ineffective. I attended a megachurch for several years and kept running into unregenerate and unconverted people, many of whom thought they were saved. 

God woke me up at 3 AM recently and this message is the result. My heart was heavy; we were wrapping up our Bible study on the book of Colossians – a church Paul commended for their faith and love, by the way – and we were examining the geography of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and many cities that had Christian churches in the first several centuries.

*The following is a partial transcript to the sermon from video:

In Revelation chapter two and three, Jesus harshly rebuked five out the seven churches within the same area. I couldn’t help but wonder what He would think of churches in America today. It’s a sobering thought.

Would Jesus rebuke us, Christians in the United States of Entertainment, the way He did several churches in Asia Minor? 

Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Revelation 3:2-3

This quote has been attributed to several people, one of whom is Dwight L. Moody:

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.”

We will all stand before the Lord one day and be judged for how we spent our time. Your husband or wife won’t be there, neither will your children, coworkers, or friends on social media. It will be you alone before Jesus. And that should sober up every one of us in this room.

Here are some important QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

  1. Is your life bearing fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ? JN 15:8
  2. Are we passionate about eternal and spiritual things? COL 3:2
  3. Who or what is our first love? What’s our main focus? 6:33
  4. Have you conformed to our culture – or to Christ? ROM 12:2
  5. Do we love this world more than we love God, His Word? 1 JN 2:15-17
  6. Are you prepared for persecution when it comes? 5:11-12

Are we, individual believers in Jesus who make up the church in America, succeeding at what’s most important? Are we loving the Lord God, loving our neighbors, preaching the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ alone, making disciples, raising godly children, impacting culture, and encouraging the faith of other believers?

Or are we just giving God lip service?

American churches, especially many of the larger, higher profile mega-churches, often have a good reputation simply due to their popularity, numbers or size (quantity). But this is often a very inaccurate picture of the overall health, discipleship, and maturity (quality) of a church. Is the body of Christ being built up in faith and equipped for ministry? (Eph. 4:11-12)

According to Barna research and several other studies and surveys, it appears American Christianity is producing the most biblically illiterate church members in history, confused about what the Bible teaches, unable to fully understand let alone explain and defend the essentials of the faith. What ever happened to discipleship? We can learn from the earliest Christian churches that it doesn’t take long to stray from truth.

Revelation 3:1  “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

Wake-up! Repent! Notice what Jesus also says to the church in Sardis:

5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

*We all have ears – but – are we listening? What is Jesus saying to the churches in America who have grown comfortable and complacent? What is He saying to individual believers? Do YOU have ears to hear from God?

Is your life bearing fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ?

We just finished the book of Colossians in our weekly Bible study and looking at the geography at that time, we talked about the many early Christian churches in Asia Minor which is modern day Turkey.

…The Colossian church was just 12 miles from the church of Laodicea and about 95 miles from Ephesus, a booming city at the time. Laodicea was also prospering and growing, located next to a new trade route, they had it made.

But that’s what lots of people would say about America, which is why we’re making this comparison today. We are prosperous, proud, and self-sufficient. Look at our big and many churches!

May we take to heart the warnings to the early churches:

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked; …19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

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You can’t get much more radical or anti-Christian and yes, she actually said that. Palestinian-American activist and controversial co-chair of the national Women’s March protest against President Donald Trump, Linda Sarsour recently suggested people stop humanizing the Jews. She made the remarks at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention in Houston while speaking on Islamophobia and other political issues.

I’m not sure what’s more concerning, the fact she made these hateful, anti-Semitic remarks or that the media and most Americans don’t think it matters.

If you’re a Christian, conservative, Independent or Republican, consider this a wake-up call to reevaluate your support for the politics and worldview of radicals like Linda Sarsour. Democrats should be renouncing her but sadly, their silence should be taken as their approval. Sarsour has aligned herself with people such as Louis Farrakhan and the far Left so you may want to rethink your loyalty.

According to reports, Linda Sarsour refused to allow women who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage to take part in the Women’s March in Washington D.C. earlier this year, and Sarsour has argued that there was no room in the feminist movement for supporters of Israel. She has also been an outspoken advocate in the Black Lives Matter movement, and promotes numerous anti-Israel policies.

It is deeply alarming the media practically whitewashes her background and political activism. I understand because some are on her side.

Linda Sarsour was arrested last week for disrupting Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. So it’s not at all surprising Sarsour was endorsed by new Democrat Party hero, Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who also calls Israel the occupiers of Palestine.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted:

Our future is a shared responsibility. This woman putting it all on the line for healthcare, women & LGBT+ rights is @lsarsour. The far right constantly maligns her w/ false attacks + threats of violence. Yet here she is, as always, fighting for everything our flag represents.

Now hold on a minute! So the American Flag represents socialism, abortion, taxpayer-funded transgender surgeries, Gay Pride parades, silencing Christians, social justice, advancing Islam in America, and dehumanizing the Jews? Let me check our Founding documents and get back to you.

You might have some credibility if you argue America is no longer a Christian nation in practice, but any sincere citizen who is of average intelligence or education would agree that the United States was established upon the freedoms, morality, and principles found within the Judeo-Christian worldview.

And as for Israel, the Lord God promised to make Israel into a great, influential nation whether we like it or not. The Bible is pretty clear: God said:

And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:3)

Genesis 12:7 states,

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.

And in Genesis 17, verse 7:

I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. 8 I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

There are other Scriptures detailing the boundary lines. To this day, the dispute with God’s chosen people is not only over the land, but Muslim nations think Israel does not have a right to exist.

The Jewish Torah promises the children of Israel a modest and reasonable allotment of land. This portion of land is, get this, about 1/19th the size of California and yet, Israel is currently surrounded by 22 hostile Arab nations 640 times the size of Israel, and 60 times her population!

Isn’t it unreasonable to believe the media and people like Linda Sarsour who claim Israel is responsible for all the problems in the Middle East? Since 1948, the Jews have sought peaceful coexistence with neighboring countries – dictatorships dedicated to its destruction.

But sure enough, when Israel is often attacked, the media reports on when they retaliate, practically omitting or ignoring the barrage of rockets coming across the border. Just ask the IDF (Israel Defense Force).

Throughout the centuries, nations have raged and have come against this nation the size of New Jersey, but understand that God promised to bless those who bless Israel. And He will eventually judge and destroy nations that come against Israel.

So when people in America such as Sarsour and Ocasio-Cortez encourage Muslim Americans and others to dehumanize the Jews, it should send a chill down our collective spines.

There are some bizarre, outrageous, and flat-out unbiblical things going on in lots of churches. One so-called church sells beer, another worships Mother Earth, others use secular music during worship, others ordain gay leaders, and still others offer yoga. People are free to do whatever they want to try and make God fit their ideas and to offer services that cater to the desires of their congregations, but is this what church is supposed to be? 

What happened to the emphasis on teaching God’s word of truth including sin and repentance, justification, God’s wrath, prophecy, future judgment, and sanctification?

Last week I reported on one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve tackled in quite some time. The Roman Catholic Church is reeling from the massive scandal involving homosexuality among priests and the rampant cover-up of sexual abuse that has continued for many decades.

But many Evangelical and Protestant churches have leadership problems of their own. This includes the progressive, seeker-sensitive Willow Creek Church in Chicago whose lead pastors and elders resigned in light of the Bill Hybels allegations of sexual harassment.

Countless churches seem to have lost focus and have gotten off track. We have lost our reverence for a holy God, and practically abandoned the once-solid foundation of the teaching of Scripture which is the primary purpose of the church.

Many conferences and church services today barely resemble the early church and what the Bible teaches, let alone point to Jesus Christ. Some people create gods and church services to suit their own interests while others rewrite Scriptures to justify their lifestyles.

Last month in St. Louis, a controversial conference took place calledRevoice,” apparently aiming to normalize homosexuality and affirm those claiming to be “LGBTQ Christians.” Can you say, oxymoron?

Christian talk show host, Janet Mefferd called for the unbiblical movement to be repudiated, saying:

“Revoice is incremental gay activism, designed to eventually lure conservative evangelicals into accepting ‘gay Christianity,’” 

Next, there’s a progressive church in Santa Cruz, California that not only sells beer, but plans to donate proceeds to big abortion business, Planned Parenthood. Maybe the consumption of alcohol helps the pastor’s sermons sound better. This is a guy who preaches that Jesus was a Palestinian “killed by white supremacy.”

And who can forget our expose back in May on the San Francisco church that hosted what they called aBeyoncé Mass?” It was quite an interesting take on worshiping, “Our Mother who is in heaven,” and endorsing Beyonce as a role model for young girls.

Then there’s a church in Atlanta that put a new twist in their Sunday morning worship show by adding scantily-clad aerialists as a regular part of their services. ‘Why in the world?’ you may ask. Self-appointed “Apostle” Bryan Meadows actually said:

“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them!”

Just one more or we’d be here all day. Serita Jakes, wife of controversial, megachurch minister, T.D. Jakes, gleefully posted photos on social media of women doing yoga at the church during a women’s event on wellness.

Never mind the practice of yoga is a rooted in Hinduism, a 5,000-year old polytheistic religious system. Its purpose is to bypass the mind and yoke or “unite” a person’s spirit with the Hindu god, Brahman.

Heather Clark at Christian News Network reminds us:

 “… Even the traditional Hindu greeting, Namasté, that is said at the end of yoga classes, is spiritual. When translated, it means, ‘The god in me bows down to (or salutes) the god in you.’”

The Spirit of Christ bows down to no one; He alone is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the only true, living God who is worthy of our true worship.

Romans 8:9 states:

However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

And Exodus 20:3 states:

You shall have no other gods before Me.

Prior to building one of America’s first mega-churches, author, pastor, and motivational speaker, Robert Scheuller literally went door to door in the 1970s in Orange County, California, and asked people what they wanted in a church. Not what lost, hurting sinners need, but what they ‘want.’ This of course, has led to the “mega-church” and emergent church movement.

Men focused on church growth took a cue from Schueller and the rest is history. This has been a recipe for disaster in the American church, and it has led to well-deserved comparisons with the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation chapter 3, and a better understanding of why Paul wrote a second letter to Timothy. In the last days, men would be:

“treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…” (2 Timothy 4:4-5)

Rather than be active participants in learning and sharing God’s Word, too many church members have been conditioned to sit back and listen to a program or presentation, and perhaps to a bunch of funny stories or analogies instead of being challenged by sound doctrine and the harder teachings of the Bible. Then there’s the music. Lots of talented praise teams are themselves being praised for performing entertaining, although often heartfelt music rather than leading the people to the Throne in the worship of a holy God.

A.W. Tozer once said:

“The church that can’t worship must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment.”

We need to get back to the basics.

True disciples of Jesus Christ in the early church focused on four primary things: teaching the word of God with a focus on Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, prayer, communion, and fellowship with other Christians (Acts 2:42). They made disciples and they went out and shared the good news. They didn’t care about the approval of people – they sought to obey God. Their faith in Christ cost most of them their lives.

Today, too many churches use entertaining concepts and gimmicks to attract people, but then a new problem arises: in order to keep them in the comfy seats (and giving their tithes), you need to avoid controversial issues and often dilute the gospel so they won’t be offended.

What happens when you give people what they want instead of what they need which is Christ and His truth? Rather than being fed and equipped, countless hungry souls are walking out of many American churches feeling empty and unprepared to do God’s work. This must change.

Don’t think this is just another isolated incident where Islam is being favored in public schools. The point here is simple: either teach on all religions equally or don’t teach on any of them.

Since God, the Bible, the name of Jesus, and the Ten Commandments have been expelled from government-run schools in America, mounting evidence proves – decade after decade – every other belief system including atheism, humanism, secular progressivism, and Islam have been allowed.

A new report out of West Virginia says Mountain Ridge middle school students in Gerrardstown were asked to practice writing the Islamic declaration of faith known as the “shahada” in Arabic calligraphy. Translated into English, the statement claims, “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

As part of the world religions unit of the class, the lesson plan leads students to profess the socio-political religion of Islam as true and to lead them to think Allah is God, the Creator.

Apparently, the 30-page section “Islam in the World Today” contains anti-Christian sentiment and required seventh graders to read segments of the Qur’an, learn Muslim prayer poses, and understand the Five Pillars of Islam.

The Muslim faith is both controversial and in direct contradiction to Christianity, so parents were outraged, especially after hearing students would be given a detention slip if they didn’t do the assignment, according to reports. The teacher now claims the assignment was optional.

Both Christianity and Islam promote a standard of morality and doing good deeds, but the god of Islam is not the same as the living God of the Holy Bible. The Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, considers Jesus a prophet, but not Lord or the Savior. There is also no Trinity in Islam so the Holy Spirit is irrelevant to them.

Allah had no son, but the Bible teaches Jesus is God’s Son. He was “with God in the beginning (John 1:1),” the Word who became flesh (John 1:14). Muslims deny that Jesus died on the cross to sacrifice Himself for our sins – a foundation of the Christian faith – as is His resurrection from the dead after three days in a tomb.

Packets were previously handed out to students on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism, but one parent pointed out that the Islam packet contained passages from the Qur’an. Not surprisingly, no Bible verses were included in the packet on Christianity.

More parents across the country have also objected to a Department of Education program called “Access Islam.” According to the Clarion Project, the federally-funded program is directed at children from grades 5-12 and is also featured on various websites, including PBS Learning Media. The Smithsonian also promotes the course as does the United Nations.

A video from the course prominently features a Christian convert to Islam, who declares emotionally how he found the true religion without any “intermediaries.” Concerned parents have noted the U.S. Department of Education provides no comparable study or promotion of any other religion.

One high school homework assignment obtained by a news outlet revealed the question: “How did Muslim conquerors treat those they conquered?” The correct answer was, “With tolerance, kindness and respect.” So, invading armies annihilated their enemies with tolerance, kindness, and respect? Wow.

The prophet Muhammad was a violent warrior who led the slaughter of many people. Islam means “submission” and many were executed because they did not submit to Allah. For those open to truth, just do a little research.

In a breaking story out of New York City, parents are outraged after a public school held a moment of silence last Tuesday for the people killed in Gaza. A Beacon High School public address announcement urged students to pause and honor those who died in the clash at the Israeli border during protest of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. The terrorist organization, Hamas publicly confirmed 50 of the 62 people who dies were members of their militant Islamic group.

What about statements about peace in the Qur’an? “Abrogation” is a recurring theme whenever conflicting verses of the Quran are discussed. It means to cancel, repeal, or officially revoke something. In this context, the later or more recent verses calling for jihad and Holy War override earlier verses counseling tolerance or peace.

A few years ago in Olmstead Falls, Ohio, parents tried for years to raise awareness and get the school board to change some lessons and history textbooks that stated Muslims historically “practiced religious tolerance” by requiring Christians and Jews to pay extra taxes. There was no mention that the alternative was often death. They conveniently left those facts out.

Jenny McKeigue was notified by her oldest son that during class his teacher played a reality TV episode of “30 Days: Muslims and America” about converting to Islam.

Author and executive editor of The Federalist, Joy Pullman reported in 2016:

In “30 Days: Muslims and America,” an imam tells a Christian man attempting to live as a Muslim for 30 days that Muslims and Christians worship the same god. The Christian struggles with that idea but ultimately accepts it.

And in Maryland, La Plata High School was also accused of favoring Islam by forcing children to profess the Muslim statement of faith and requiring them to memorize the Five Pillars of Islam, according to a 2015 federal lawsuit filed by the Thomas Moore Law Center. In this case, John and Melissa Wood accused the school of Islamic indoctrination and propaganda, and when Mr. Wood complained, the school banned him from campus! 

There have also been similar stories in California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, and others – all receiving extremely little attention in the politically-correct, progressive media.

Discriminating against those holding to the Christian worldview while promoting other religious views is unconstitutional. So where is the Freedom from Religion foundation when it comes to Islam being taught in government schools?

There should be no confusion over the stark contrasts between the worldviews of Christianity and Islam. It is misguided to focus on a few common teachings without acknowledging major doctrines that are diametrically opposed to one another.

Open Doors reports on persecution worldwide  and the following are monthly averages: 255 Christians are killed, 104 Christians are abducted, and 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage. 

I am not suggesting the Christian faith should be the only one allowed in public schools – although that is what took place for over a hundred years in America when our country was very different morally and spiritually. I am asking for fairness and justice.

If schools discuss one religion, then others should be allowed as well.

But the left won’t go for that because they believe in the total separation of Christianity and state. Keep Jesus out, and anything else goes. Maybe they know if the Bible is allowed back in schools, more children will end up believing it. Why? Because it’s true.

*Originally published at Freedom Project Media

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

Is it too late for Christians to be more discerning? Satan has deployed enemies of truth into our culture and sadly, we have allowed them to influence us. The agenda had been gradual and subtle decades ago, but today the deception is out in the open for all to see – or ignore.

“If you really want to know the truth, it is revealed through Scripture because God is truth. He is the final authority. As you see people’s bad behavior and sin, including open adultery and sexual perversion, being promoted in our culture, remember they need Christ. Even the loud, proud activists. They are not necessarily bad people; they’re just wrong, and the Lord gives each of us the freedom to accept the truth or pay the consequences.

If we are lovers of God and followers of Jesus Christ, we should not approve of and love things of this world more than Him (Romans 12:2, Gal. 1:10). We certainly should not be celebrating what is evil or sinful, and, as we take a stand for what is right, attacks will come.

We must understand the Enemy’s tactics and how Satan, the Father of Lies, suppresses the truth, twisting words and meanings using everyday people to advance his agenda. I’d probably do the same thing if I were him.

Millions of Americans have apparently disregarded the faith they once held dear or have fallen away from the Judeo-Christian values which previously permeated this nation. Many in the church have been duped by the cult of liberalism and political correctness that basically says anything is permissible except biblical Christianity. We have stopped standing against evil and speaking up in defense of the gospel for fear of offending someone, and when Christians are silent, light is squelched and darkness wins.

According to the Bible, Satan’s power over us is already broken, death has been defeated, and the war has been won, thanks to the victory we have in Jesus through His sacrifice, death, and resurrection. The battle and warfare, however, continue – and they will intensify – until the Lord returns.

The cunning schemes of the devil are carried out all around us in this world system over which he has free reign. How does the Enemy work and advance his agenda of lawlessness, chaos, destruction, and unrighteousness? He uses people.

From a rainbow-colored White House to Hollywood hype over the latest perversion, from media selling sexual confusion to corporations proudly promoting political correctness, it is difficult to deny the moral and spiritual decline in America. If there’s any hope of slowing the decaying culture, hypocrisy must be called out, lies must be refuted, and truth must be told.

It is virtually impossible to correct and improve the direction of a country if people, especially Christians, are not convinced there are major problems and that we are way off course. Apathy is another issue killing America, but since we cannot make people care, we need to reach those who may be in the busy, unconvinced, or uninformed categories.

But as we try raising awareness in an intolerant culture that is redefining truth, opposition is guaranteed. The Left is shrewd at using words as weapons to silence those who do not agree with them. Enemies of Christ will not relax or ease up on their agenda, and one of the greatest battles in the country today is being waged by the LGBTQ movement. Author and teacher Peter Heck stated,

“They know the success of their cause depends upon the total abolishment of the Judeo-Christian ethic and the Moral Authority it teaches. That is why any belief that the homosexual lobby is merely a passive group of individuals wanting to peacefully coexist with others who have different beliefs and values is naively absurd.”

The Enemy advances when Christians relax. Though Christianity is growing, particularly in underground churches in persecuted nations around the world, who do you think is having more influence on America today?

The marketers of evil claim they are fighting because of discrimination, oppression, injustice, and inequality. They say they fight for love, acceptance, diversity, equal rights, and freedom. We’re onto their schemes and the tedious talking points trumpeted by the liberal media, the Left, Hollywood, and many within the government education system.

But it is not just those whose new religion is sex, and it’s not just those who claim they just want to “live and let live.” It’s also those who devalue human life and promote moral relativism. Planned Parenthood and advocates of murder cry out, “freedom,” “choice,” “it’s my body, not yours, not the government’s and not God’s.”

The Left is using atheists, communists, socialists, and LGBTQ proponents to blot out God, normalize homosexuality, lie about life in the womb, undermine natural marriage, tear apart the traditional family, create as much chaos as possible, and, well, promote lies instead of truth.

Since we’re talking about methods and people Satan uses to do his work, we should also take a sober look at how our perceptions have changed regarding morality and what has become acceptable or permissible to professing Christians. We must recognize the sin in our own camp and call out hypocrisy in the church when necessary.

We must pursue Christ, invest time in the Word, have accountability and fellowship with true believers, be disciplined, and work harder to build others up while we strengthen our faith and especially our marriages. Jesus told His disciples, If you love Me, you will keep My commandments (John 14:15). Looking at just two of the Ten Commandments, we must acknowledge the epidemic of idolatry and adultery within Christian circles.

We don’t talk often enough about adultery, which is now pretty much accepted by a majority of Americans, including many who claim to be Christians.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge. (Hebrews 13:4)

Years before the Supreme Court gave its tyrannical opinion ruling against God-ordained natural marriage in 2015, the agenda was well underway to remove America’s moral anchors. What was most disappointing, however, was to observe the influence secularism was and is having on the American church. Today we can see the undeniable fruit of lacking a solid foundation, with increasing numbers of gay ministers and pastors in several churches and denominations.

The rise of apostasy is a sign of the times as more churches and leadership preach accommodation rather than conviction of sin leading to repentance and salvation. If we are not much different from the world, there’s a problem.

The Enemy is advancing through our country, our culture, and even many of our churches because we have surrendered much ground and have not defended the truth. Though there is always hope for a revival – and I have no idea what it might take for this to happen – the light is dimming in and on America, and the clock is ticking.

Many have already been deceived as the Enemy has had success defining the terms of battle, and in many cases, redefining words. The Left has been promoting sin as normal, natural, and healthy, and when Christians speak up, it leads to charges of intolerance. If we do nothing, even more people will call evil good.”

If most Christians continue to avoid these battles, if we are not established in His truth, and if we refuse to defend the faith, society will rapidly deteriorate. If we do not pray to the only living God to give us wisdom, strength, and guidance, we won’t be able to effectively share the gospel, influence culture for Christ and bear good fruit for Him.

*Book excerpt from Redefining Truth: Delusions of Replacing God and Calling Evil Good by author, David Fiorazo

Last week she was furious. How could the GOP take taxpayer money from the noble cause of gender identity politics and allow the people who worked for it to keep it? Only days ago, Nancy Pelosi went on record to say Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for voting to cut generous Department of Defense funding for transgender members of the military who want to have cosmetic surgeries. Also known as “gender reassignment” surgery, Pelosi went so far as to suggest that taking away taxpayer funding for these unnatural procedures “undermines our national security.” 

If you missed the story prior to this, the House Rules Committee passed an amendment last week stating, “Funds available to the Department of Defense may not be used to provide medical treatment… related to gender transition to a person entitled to medical care.” Finding a way to accuse those “immoral” Republicans of hating people, Pelosi declared the GOP was “fighting to rip away the health care of thousands of brave service members.”

As you know, the Obama administration allowed transgenders to openly serve in the U.S. military and the current policy entitles them to receive any medical help deemed necessary – including surgery and hormone therapy. The national cost for “medical services” for transgender military members is estimated to be as high as $8.4 million annually. It was claimed by supporters of the amendment that the financial bill for transgenders could exceed $3 billion over the next decade if no action is taken.

Democrats were livid that this provision placating a special interest group was being threatened. But it ended there.

It turns out that 24 liberal Republicans decided to vote with Democrats and ensure our tax dollars will fund these “sex change” operations. Pelosi politics prevailed and the common-sense amendment was narrowly rejected. If just three Republicans would have voted with the majority (214-209), the decision would have flipped in favor of the people and family-friendly policy. Maybe next time. How did support for this irrational ideology grow so quickly?

Whatever happens in Europe doesn’t stay in Europe including the rapid decay of biblical morality. Abortion, same sex marriage, transgenderism, moral relativism – you name it. Now get this: under the guise of “equality,” National Health Service doctors in the UK think taxpayers should also fund “womb transplant procedures” so transgender men can be pregnant. You read that right: the godless promoters of cultural insanity are now working with fertility doctors so that men could theoretically have a baby.

As part of these womb transplants for men, one Liverpool doctor explains this could also help gay and straight men who ‘wanted to experience the joys of carrying a child.’ One Stanford professor even says we could soon see more pregnancies created in a laboratory. What does this all mean? God is being completely removed from the equation.

Man has succeeded at perverting something so beautiful and intimate as God creating human life, and a biological man and woman procreating under the covenant of natural marriage. When we, in our depravity and desire to be our own gods, rebel and try to “reassign” what He designed, what could go wrong? Confusion about our humanity and bathroom etiquette as well as what sex people should be. When we allow our feelings and emotions to rule over truth, are we then much different from animals?

We are seeing the consequences of this moral relativistic poison in the American public school system as too many kids think they are purposeless acts of nature possibly having evolved from apes – or from nothing rather than being uniquely designed by a loving Creator who gives our lives meaning. Some of the chaos gender ideology has wrought includes hedonism, depression, and too many teen and transgender suicides.

God help us. 

We do not have much time left and the lukewarm church had better get serious. If we are not already a stench in God’s nostrils and unsalvageable as a nation, we sure must be close. How much longer will He withhold judgment? Many seasoned Christians believe we are living in Romans 1 and drawing near to some of the most intense parts of prophecy in the book of Revelation. 

The good news is truth will prevail. The damage however, that’s being done to the very moral underpinnings of our nation has become irreparable. There is no turning back and tragically, many souls have been lost for eternity. I understand this is all happening fast, but if we remain on the sidelines and out of these conversations and public policy debates, expect the transgender train to plow full steam ahead leaving death and destruction in its wake.

If you and I love the truth, then we will speak up and work to defend and protect the truth of God and His Word. Take this personally. These attacks on the very truths of creation, marriage, family, and gender are attacks on the person and deity of Jesus Christ, aiming to minimize and redefine human beings made in His image. 

For more by David Fiorazo:

 

*Photo: Illinois Family Institute

chipped-flag-on-brick-wall-300x200The United States of America has been under attack – from within. Two things make this fact even worse: many people are oblivious, and the larger problem is others just don’t seem to care.

It is important we understand how we got to this point of corruption and crisis as a nation, determine who is responsible, and decide what we can do about it. You may know much of this information, but many of your friends do not; please share it.

In order to examine the spiritual, financial, and political condition of the United States of America, the epic prize globalists wish to conquer, it’s vital we acknowledge some brief history.

Pilgrims and patriots came to these shores to escape religious persecution, government intrusion, and to establish a God-fearing settlement that would flourish on faith and freedom. This great Republic was originally founded upon biblical teachings, Moral Law, and the Declaration of Independence. We know, however, this is not the same country it was one or two hundred years ago.

We now know – and many of these are interchangeable – atheists, communists, liberals, humanists, Marxists, progressives, and socialists have infiltrated our government and undermined the order and very foundation of our nation. They have infected our courts, the education system, our corporations, the entertainment industry, and unfortunately, many of our churches. (Read about the Emergent Church.)

Most of us would like to see this nation return to one in which people once again honor the Lord first, respect the Constitution, the Flag, and allow others to live their lives based on Judeo-Christian principles. But this may be wishful thinking because political correctness will no longer coexist with religious freedom.

For concerned Christians, there is a stark reality looking us square in the eyes: God’s Word (Bible prophecy) reveals some sobering truths about the future of our nation and this world. Things will become even darker, more chaotic, and people’s hearts will grow cold. The Bible tells us evil will appear to prevail in the days leading up to the Lord’s return, and nations will not only come against Israel, they will stand in defiance of God our Creator and King.

The question is how much time do we have in the United States of America? Obviously, no one can answer this specifically. Could we have a great spiritual revival and awakening in our nation? It is possible, but not probable. Have we become such stiff-necked, lukewarm, self-serving people we have already sealed our own fate? Perhaps.

The other day, our guest on Stand Up for the Truth, Julaine Appling said, 

“Law is always downstream of culture.”

It is true our culture drives politics and legislation in America. Just look at the powerful LGBT lobby teaming up with Hollywood and the liberal media! But what happened to the influence of the church? Christianity used to drive culture, but today, more and more churches, leaders, and denominations have become silent or have conformed to the world.

Anti-Christian, anti-American agendas are being carried out across the country with little concern or resistance.

Two evil, influential political philosophies have shaped the direction of our nation over the past 50-plus years, and we see devastating effects on Americans who are (for the most part) unknowingly embracing them.

  • Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”
  • The Cloward-Piven Strategy

These two progressive, Marxist philosophies and their implemented agendas have been used together to bring our nation to the precipice of economic and moral destruction. First, a quote from: Rules for RadicalsA Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

“In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems.” Saul D. Alinsky,

The Obama administration sure took that principle to heart.

…Chicago-born Saul David Alinsky (1909 – 1972) was an American community organizer who dropped out of graduate school at the University of Chicago to work as a criminologist. He was drawn to the world of gangsters and was a confidant of the Al Capone mob. Alinsky became a “student” of enforcer Frank Nitti, who took over the mob when Capone was sent to prison. An Alinski radical has one main goal – power.

His motto was, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.” In 1971, the hard Left, progressive community organizer wrote a playbook of subversive tactics to empower an upcoming generation of change agents. A few notable adherents to the Alinsky method are: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Van Jones, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jim Wallis, and former President Barack Obama.

Expert organizer, President Obama, didn’t miss a beat when he left office and according to reports is scheming to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidency. His army of agitators numbering in the tens of thousands will take orders from Obama’s command post in his new Washington home less than two miles from the White House. Not content to move on like other ex-presidents, Obama is actively working to fight against Republicans.

Having raised over $40 million in the last few years of his presidency with the help of former Obama aides and campaign workers, his network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing For Action (OFA) with 250 offices across the country, added staff, and fresh recruitment of liberal activists. Not only that, but Obama’s close confidante Valerie Jarrett has moved into his new DC home, the nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against the Trump administration.

The Alinsky Game Plan:

  • Exploit the weaknesses inherent in the system, made weaker by pitting opposing forces against one another.
  • Oppose independent, morally strong, educated people because those individuals, especially in groups, can’t be manipulated easily.
  • They attempt to end-run constitutional rights with social contract and dialectic consensus methods. Engage in large scale social engineering, attempting to unfreeze a society using chaos, and to then refreeze it in a new predefined shape.
  • The dividing lines they polarize people on are most often racial, economic, religious and political.
  • Cause social instability through subversive and divisive rhetoric. One method is to control the outcome of the education system by lowering the standards of education so that it creates a dependent class.
  • Use their political platforms to overload a society with social spending programs and class warfare to the point that hatred and division cause social panic.
  • Once they’ve created a problem, they propose themselves as the answer and use wealth transfers and the trumping of rights as the method to bring about “equality.”

THE EFFECTS:

  • An overpowering Federal government bureaucracy that has violated the U.S. Constitution’s principles of limited Federal government power and control.
  • $20 trillion in national debt. Not even counting Social Security and Pension obligations:  Most estimates are the nation is almost $100 trillion in debt:  A system waiting to collapse.
  • An American public that has become addicted to government handouts.  More than half the population is on direct assistance from the government.
  • A laziness and narcissism with Americans where they look to government to provide instead of providing for themselves.
  • Massive Student Loan debt that will never be repaid because of a corrupt educational system that lured young people with lies and false illusions.
  • The only way to get out of this fiscal mess is a complete overhaul of the debt situation in the nation:  BANKRUPTCY, which leads to a Marxist State.

THE ALINSKY DOCTRINE:

8 Steps to Topple a Nation and Create a Socialist State.

Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and The Cloward-Piven Strategy have been woven together by Progressive Marxist-Humanists to create a crisis so bad that the only “solution” is what they have wanted:  Communism.  Let’s look at the eight points where the two doctrines intersect.

*Read the entire post including resource links and a conclusion, “What Christians can do about it” at DavidFiorazo.com

 

Image credit: Tomohalloran.com

this-is-war-berkeley-riot-signCan you really call it a war when only one side seems to be doing all the fighting? The left are aggressively pushing their agenda across America – immorality, lawlessness, and anything opposed to biblical Christianity – and the troops are advancing through every major institution. This obviously includes academia.

They’ve taken control of the media, corporate America, the entertainment industry, the education system, the culture, the courts, and government. But wait, Donald Trump just became president of the United States and it is nearly driving some of them insane. Hollywood in particular is becoming unhinged.

Madonna publicly admits she has thought about “blowing up the White House.” Actress Lea DeLaria (Orange is the New Black) said she wanted to “pick up a baseball bat and take out every [expletive] Republican and Independent I see.” Bruce Springsteen told an Australian audience he is now embarrassed to be an American. Nordstrom stores drop Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, and the list goes on.

Just days ago on The View, Whoopi Goldberg lamented America’s new president and criticized the administration’s policies on women, Planned Parenthood, the media, and refugees, and asked the audience, “are these values really much different than the Taliban’s?” Oh, and Robert De Niro said about Trump, “We have to bully him back.”

And decades ago, the left conquered higher education by gaining control of most every college and university. Tragically, too many of us are just now seeing the rotten fruit academia has been producing for years.

Cue the snowflakes at California University in Berkeley, CA.

Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor for Breitbart News, was scheduled to speak to conservative students at Cal Berkeley Wednesday night when radical left wing students and George Soros-funded groups organized a protest including hateful rhetoric, rioting, setting vehicles on fire, and throwing paint and Molotov cocktails at the building the speaker was in.

Cal students along with paid protesters carried signs against homophobic attitudes toward gays and against Trump’s refugee policies and get this: telling an open homosexual and legal immigrant he is not welcome at their university! Some shouted he has no right to speak here, and hatred is not welcome, blah, blah, blah.

Here are just a few of the protest signs:

  • Kill Trump
  • Become Ungovernable
  • Shut it down
  • Out of Berkeley, Nazi Scum
  • No Facist USA
  • I Love what Trump Hates

Leftists and progressives claim to be beacons of reason, tolerance, and “love,” but their actions prove they are hypocritical liars. The public only buys it because Hollywood and the media are on their side and have cornered the propaganda market. They defend the blatant Saul Alinsky tactics implemented by these agitators.

Alinksy dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals, to Satan (“…the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”), and it has been the playbook for the Left. He provided marching orders that decades of loyal disciples across the country as well as in the Democratic Party today have used to gain power. A few goals are to destroy the American system of government, free markets, and the Judeo-Christian ethic the nation was established upon.

  • They only tolerate people who believe exactly what they believe.
  • They are some of the most hate-filled, violent, intolerant people anywhere.
  • And they are so depraved in their thinking and so immersed in contradictions that they turn against the very people they claim to represent if that person doesn’t tow the entire liberal line.

I co-host a radio program called Stand Up for the Truth, and host Mike LeMay shared his concerns on Thursday’s program:

We must fact this fact. American public education has become a breeding ground for Marxist Humanism. Today’s youth have been programmed to hate God, the Bible, truth, and anyone who thinks differently than they do.

Has one Democratic politician spoken up and condemned this violence?  No, and in fact, Obama has encouraged it, even up through yesterday saying he is “heartened” by the pushback against Trump. Have they condemned this treatment of a homosexual and an immigrant at Berkeley?  No. Because the progressive left in this nation is the greatest example of bigotry and hypocrisy you will find anywhere.

Remember all the protests and arrests and riots and police activity and violence right after Obama was elected? I don’t either.

At Cal however, the crowd even threw rocks and fireworks at police officers and damaged several buildings in downtown Berkeley. Ironically, they threw stuff and smashed windows of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building. (Can’t snowflakes be called ‘racists’ for doing that?)

The mob also attacked various Trump supporters who were there including:

  • One young lady wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was attacked during a television interview. An unknown man sprayed some sort of liquid in her face.
  • The Daily Californian reports another Trump supporter was grabbed by a crowd of agitators and thrown to the ground. He escaped, but they grabbed his red hat and set it on fire. And police had to rescue another man who was bloodied and beaten.

What did the university do? They blamed the violence on outsiders and due to their policy, no arrests were made and campus security stood back and watched.

America is reaping the seeds we have sown in public education and pop culture for the past fifty years. And to be honest, I don’t blame the kids. (How about parents, pastors, teachers, coaches, and youth leaders over the last fifty years?) This is the fruit of our silence as well as the extreme lack of resistance to the immoral, hostile takeover of our culture and country.

Milo Yiannopoulos told Tucker Carlson on FOX News,

“No one’s safety is at risk from different opinions; No one’s physical safety is endangered by political ideas from a speaker on campus, but universities have sort of allowed this stuff to happen, and even in some cases, encouraged it.”

There are those on both the left and right who call for civility and unity in America. I get it. But these calls are either naive or disingenuous. It is almost always conservatives, Republicans, and Christians who end up compromising in our society. The parallel is not unlike those who are committed practitioners of radical Islam; you cannot coexist with those whose goal is to either force you into submission, make you pay high taxes and fines, or to kill you.

Liberals have been emboldened and would rather shut down the conversation – or shut you down – than allow conservative or Christian values and ideas to be considered and promoted.

It was Joseph Stalin who reportedly once stated, “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not allow our enemies to have guns, why should we let them have ideas.”

Former Obama administration official, Rosa Brooks, recently wrote about four ways to “get rid” of President Trump, including a military coup or declaring him mentally unfit for command. (Foreign Policy magazine posting here)

Brooks is a Schwartz senior fellow at the New America Foundation, which is funded by billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. She served from 2009-2011 as Counselor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and served as a senior adviser at Obama’s State Department. In an apparent effort to make a case against Trump, Brooks questions his mental stability saying, “has made it all too clear: Yes, he is as crazy as everyone feared.”

Militant liberal, actress Sarah Silverman also called for a military coup against the president, tweeting a list of moves Trump made in his first days in office to 9.8 million followers:

WAKE UP & JOIN THE RESISTANCE. ONCE THE MILITARY IS W US, FASCISTS GET OVERTHROWN. MAD KING & HIS HANDLERS GO BYE BYE

At the leftist-funded “Women’s March” a few weeks back, professing Christian, Ashley Judd went on a profanity-laced feminist rant on behalf of the new “nasty woman” movement. She likened Trump to Hitler a few times, ranted about women’s menstrual cycles, and raved about how women’s private parts are for pleasure rather than babies. Scarlet Johansson complained about having to use Planned Parenthood with when she was 15 years old.

Finally, the media would never mention this, but a main organizer of the event, Linda Sarsour, is a Muslim who wants Sharia Law in America. She is a Palestinian-American activist, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, and an Obama White House “Champion of Change.”

These protests stem from people’s warped worldview and rebellion against God the Creator of all life, also known as God the Father. Many on the left have an insatiable disdain for Christianity, America, capitalism, conservatives, patriotism, Republicans, Israel, and most recently, Donald Trump.

In her article, “The War On Sanity,” Jennifer Hartline describes the dilemma well:

In the new civil war… There is no objective reality based on observable, physical or natural law. There’s only the tyranny of feelings. And you are not permitted to disagree.

The world is not ending because Trump is president, and every citizen has the freedom to speak up, vote, and resist peacefully and politically without it leading to violence. I’m just not so sure the far left can restrain themselves any longer, but I could be wrong.

Many on the far left believe we’re in a new civil war, and they’re taking it seriously. 

Most of these poor souls don’t realize it yet, but they need the hope, truth, and salvation of Jesus Christ. Pray for them, they’re lost; and pray for the new administration.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

 

David Fiorazo’s latest book can be found here: The Cost of Our Silence: Consequences of Christians Taking the Path of Least Resistance

*Photos from this site: Breitbart News

college-girl-with-megaphoneThey declare diversity and insist they are inclusive. They tout tolerance and yet, they often refuse to put up with anyone who thinks differently than them. They raise their collective hands to silence opposing views rather than listen or participate in respectful debate. You know exactly where they stand on ‘religion and politics.’

They cannot comprehend how some folks can actually have a biblical Christian worldview. Rather than dialogue, theirs is often a monologue, having already concluded they are right about everything, others are wrong, and there is no sense in allowing diverse ideas and opposing opinions about life and the world.

‘They’ are the liberal elites and their disciples. Though we cannot place all liberals in this category, many are furious about the recent election results in which the coronation of their progressive presidential candidate was thwarted. Millions of American citizens want a much different country because we believe and think differently than they do.

And herein lies the problem. We think differently.

Even the casual observer has most likely noticed the deep divide in our culture that has been exacerbated over the last eight years by the Obama administration. And if you ask liberals and progressives the cause of the divide they’ll probably point to [practicing] Christians, Fox News, Republicans, or Donald Trump.

It could not possibly be them or the policies on their side; it has to be those who oppose the godless liberal worldview. We’ve seen it play out in the mainstream media and cable news as well as on social media.

One recent, jaw-dropping example from academia helps make the case: the Left is generally intolerant of opposing thought. A California college professor went on a rant during her class calling Trump a “white supremacist,” Mike Pence “one of the most anti-gay humans in this country,” and declared their election “an act of terrorism.”

The video clip has gone viral and the student who recorded it is being threatened with legal action by a teachers union.

This reminds me of the WikiLeaks revelations through which Hillary Clinton’s emails were exposed. Why do they seem more concerned that the truth was exposed than they are about the controversial content?

The professor, Olga Perez Stable Cox told her class:

“Our nation is divided. We have been assaulted, and it’s an act of terrorism.”

Wait. What exactly does she mean by that? Who is “we”?

Hypocritical people like this call for unity, but promote division and hatred, going so far as to claim, “we are back to being at civil war.” She continued, saying,

“One of the most frightening things for me, and most people in my life, is that the people who are leading the assault are among us.”

We may be able to get away with thinking differently as long as we keep it to ourselves, but apparently we are assaulting them by not voting for their candidate.

Many in liberal circles, particularly the mainstream media, have little or no respect for others outside their bubble. In this case it happens to be educators wherein approximately 92 percent are liberal or Democrat.

Then there’s Hollywood.

Like many in the entertainment industry, a friend of mine who works in Hollywood shared some honest and revealing thoughts after the election results came in. This person truly believes there is a sudden resurgence of racism, bigotry, homophobia, and (gasp!) pro-lifers in America.

I looked up ‘bigotry’ which simply means: “complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

Ready for the irony?

My friend is not at all an agenda-driven, mean-spirited person, but is heartbroken over the election and said it revealed the large number of people in the country who believe differently than the self-professed “enlightened” ones.

They actually believe that those of us who trust Christ and His Word are backwards and need therapy. My friend said in order to change, the first thing needed in therapy is to acknowledge there is a problem.

America, we have a problem – and it’s a big one.

Yes, they need the hope and salvation only Jesus provides, but here’s one key point: most of us believe they are wrong; they however, believe we are evil.

Big difference.

To them, we are looked down upon as uneducated, uninformed, narrow-minded, bigoted, intolerant fascists. And those are our good qualities!

It was inconceivable half the country could vote for someone other than their candidate. My friend admitted to being “surrounded by a bubble of intelligent people that are for social change,” and could not understand why so many Americans voted to reverse the [false] hope and [radical] “change.”

If you’re like me, you believe these last eight years have plunged us into even deeper darkness via the advancement of open immorality which has driven America down into the gutter. Following the 2016 election on the other hand, here’s how my friend now sees it:

“Sometimes we need to hit bottom and descend into darkness, before we can see the light.”

 

This is not entirely incorrect in terms of eternity. Oftentimes, before we can be saved, we must come to the end of ourselves, repent, and admit there is a higher authority to whom we must give account.

The only light that ultimately matters is the light of the world, Jesus Christ. Tired of doing things in your own strength? No sin is too great; turn to Him and surrender.

In dealing with those who cannot relate to us, always remember our (and their) struggle is first a spiritual one and those who are lost need the forgiveness Christ offers. Whatever sheltered environment they happen to be living in, the truth must be proclaimed to them regardless of how we, messengers of the gospel, are perceived.

It doesn’t matter what people think of us. Are you and I seeking the approval of God or man? Obedience to His Word, seeking eternal things first, and pleasing Him is what’s important. You never know who God is preparing for you to love them enough to tell them the truth.

(Christmas season is here and books make great gifts! DID YOU KNOW David Fiorazo’s book, Eradicate: Blotting Out God in America is at its lowest price of just $10 bucks? Or check out The Cost of Our Silence: Consequences of Christians Taking the Path of Least Resistance)

*Photo credit: Christianity Malaysia

Open pages of bible isolated on white backgroundNow after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”  Mark 1:14-15

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

In 1965 the epic religious movie The Greatest Story Ever Told was released, retelling the story of Jesus Christ from His humble birth and His teachings through the crucifixion and resurrection. The media and critics at the time gave it excellent reviews and some even raved about the brilliant and inspiring, Bible-based production. Times have changed; but the gospel has not.

The gospel, aka the “good news,” is the greatest gift God has given the church, because its message is about Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the greatest treasure God has given the world. Like the apostle Paul, we are to deliver to others what we also received, because people’s salvation depends on it. No one would keep the best news in the universe to themselves – would they?

As committed Christians, our priority in this life must be to consistently believe, live, and deliver to others the message about Jesus Christ and the truth about His life, teachings, death, resurrection, and ascension. For those who have believed and have confessed Jesus as Lord, our ticket is punched and our place in God’s presence is reserved for eternity! Our faith is in Him and our hope is in heaven.

Every person alive today and who has ever lived will stand on one side of eternity or the other. The universe revolves around the most pivotal event in the history of the world: The resurrection of Jesus Christ; the eternal Son, one with the Father and the Spirit, and the exact representation of God’s nature.

… The gospel is not some formula or a simple “sinner’s prayer.” It encompasses the entire Bible as its framework with plenty of background setting the stage. Its truth can transform our lives and its power can save the worst of sinners.

With the increasing attacks on free speech and religious expression in America today, do you see how important it is for us to be able to preach the gospel? This basic freedom is affected by politics, laws, and government. Enemies of Christianity will not relent in their agenda to squelch the mention of sins they endorse, but when push comes to shove, we must obey God rather than man. Speak the truth and leave the results to Him.

Since we have received and accepted the gospel, we must reject the world because the two are in opposition to each other. This can present a problem for many of us. If we love Jesus, we will obey Him (John 14:15), but if we love the world, we will end up following anything else except Him. Because this temporary earth is passing away and we are faced with an eternity that will not wait, the choice should be clear…

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).

Where does Jesus get such authority? It bears repeating Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave and is seated at the right hand of the Father. His tomb is famous for what it does not contain. Even the Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus acknowledged His tomb was empty when they made up lies to try and conceal the resurrection.

Isn’t it interesting in their attempted cover-up, the religious leaders testified to the empty tomb? The story gets even more bizarre, because their lie included instructing the soldiers to say they were asleep instead of guarding the tomb of Jesus. This was not some small conspiracy, because in those days a Roman soldier caught sleeping on duty would have been executed.

Moreover, all other gods or religious leaders who have lived on the earth have burial sites or memorials where their bones remain. We can easily understand how some of their followers hate Jesus, because He is the only true, living God; other gods people worship are false, dead gods.

… The disciples did not have all the resources and technology we have today, and yet the early church grew in numbers day by day even in the midst of threats and persecution.

But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

Please understand regardless of whether or not you have placed your trust in Jesus and bowed before Him acknowledging His majesty, a day is coming in which every human being will bow down before Him and confess this truth – Jesus is Lord.

… Charles H. Spurgeon once stated:

My hope is not because I am not a sinner, but because I am a sinner for whom Christ died. My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is, here, not in what I am, or shall be, or feel, or know, but in what Christ is and must be, – in what Christ did, and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.

Are we willing to preach this gospel in an increasingly rebellious culture and risk being called intolerant, narrow-minded, or worse? Are we willing to be criticized and misunderstood for delivering the truth Jesus commanded us to speak? Do we love others enough to live what we believe, expose the darkness of sin, and when necessary, confront wayward Christians?

… God’s foreordained solution (Acts 2:23) was to send His only Son, Jesus, to give His life as a ransom for us. By believing, confessing Jesus is Lord, and repenting of our sins, we are saved and have everlasting life with God. May we not muddy up the message that we are saved by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8).

If the Bible is true, then this is why you and I live: To make sure the greatest story ever is told!

 

*This a book excerpt from The Cost of Our Silence. To read the entire chapter, click here: