Posts Tagged ‘word of God’

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Darkness At Noon: The Closing of the Postmodern Mind

The prophet Joel spoke of a day when the sun would be turned to darkness, and the
moon to blood. This picture–besides giving us a glimpse of that terrible, coming
Day of the Lord in judgment–is also a graphic picture of our own times. Even today,
in the gathering clouds of our culture, we see darkness at noon.

One of the central realities of this darkness is the dawning of a post-Christian culture – and a
central reality of our emerging culture is the closing of the postmodern mind. Something is
happening to the worldview, the mentality, and the consciousness of this age. If we listen
closely, we can hear something like the closing of a steel door — a solemn, cataclysmic
slamming of a door. We have been watching the postmodern mind in its development, and it
is now well developed. Not only do we see the themes of postmodernity taking hold of the
larger culture, but we understand the challenge this pattern of thinking poses to Christian
truth and Christian truth-telling. Tolerance is perverted into a radical secularism that is
anything but tolerant. There is little openness to truth, and growing hostility to truth claims.
Indeed, the postmodern mind has a fanatical, if selective, dedication to moral relativism, and
an understanding that truth has no objective or absolute basis whatsoever.

The late French philosopher Jacques Derrida shaped the postmodern mind by arguing that
the author of a text is effectively dead in terms of establishing the text’s meaning. One of the
fathers of literary deconstructionism, his concept of “the death of the author” exerts a
powerful influence on the culture at large. Derrida’s basically nihilistic philosophy suggested
that texts mean nothing in themselves. In other words, it is the reader who comes to the text
with meaning and determines what will be found within the text. The author is dead, Derrida
proclaimed, and can no longer dictate by his totalitarian authority what the text means.
Even before Derrida’s death, new debates about deconstructionism arose in the academy.
More significantly, these nihilistic philosophies have already filtered down into popular
culture. Even now, for example, many of our judges are practicing deconstructionists, seeing
the law not as what it was or what it was intended to be, but rather as a tool they can use for
their own agenda of social engineering. In the elite institutions of American academia,
deconstructionism is the order of the day. The text means what the professor says it means,
and it eventually means whatever each student would have it to mean. The reader reigns
supreme.

Unfortunately, deconstructionism has also found its way into many pulpits, sometimes in a
hard, ideological form, but more often in a soft and seductive form. In the hard form of
undiluted liberalism, it is simply the idea that this text, the Bible, may be a privileged text, but
the authors are dead. Thus, it is now up to us to decide what it should mean, so we can turn
the text on its head. And we can do so in the name of liberation, and freedom from
oppression. We are no longer bound to the oppressive truth of the text because we can now
twist the text to mean something it has never been understood to mean in the past – even the
opposite of what the words and grammatical structure would seem to mean. In so doing,
postmoderns seek to liberate themselves by deconstructing the text. After all, all the authors
are dead.

Of course, it is worth keeping in mind that such a hermeneutic must also assume that the
divine Author is dead. In its softer, subtler form, we find deconstructionism among some
who would never consider themselves liberals, and who would even claim to have what they
would characterize as a high view of Scripture. Yet when they encounter the text, they also
deconstruct it. The biblical text, they argue, has to be understood in terms of our modern
understanding. Modern psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and cultural studies have
something to bring to the interpretation of the text, they argue, something to tell us which
the human authors of Scripture missed. In other words, one may start with what it said, but
now we ourselves can decide what it means.

In both its hard and soft forms, deconstructionism has filtered down to the popular culture,
even to those who never heard of Jacques Derrida but have been nonetheless infected with
this postmodern mentality and this subtle form of subversive relativism and subjectivism.
You can hear Derrida in the discourse of adolescents in the mall. You can hear it in the
conversation on the nightly news.

The closing of the postmodern mind is the opposite of what postmodernism claimed to be its
aspiration. Postmodernism claimed that this new postmodern age–with the end of
modernity, the demise of scientific objectivity, and the openness to new forms and
understandings of truth–would lead to an opening of the mind. But as is always the case, the
totalitarian opening of the mind always ends with the radical closing of the mind. There is
nothing less tolerant than the modern ethos of tolerance. There is nothing less open than
the modern idea of open-mindedness. In the darkening sky and the gathering clouds, we see
the haunting closure of this supposedly open mind.

Sociologist Peter Berger reminds us that every single individual operates on the basis of
plausibility structures — certain frameworks of thought that are necessary for our
understanding of the world. For years, Berger and others have been telling us that the
plausibility structures of most Americans have little, if anything, to do with biblical
Christianity. The way most persons think about the world, the way they envision beauty, the
way they conceive love, the way they understand authority and marriage and structure and
principle and truth, all of these things are now basically secular in form. Not only so, but in
recent years we have witnessed the acceleration of this secularism into something that is
deeply dark, and increasingly nihilistic. What Karl Marx once promised would happen seems
to be coming to fulfillment–all that is solid melts into air. In the world of postmodernism, all
institutions are plastic, and all principles are liquid. We can reshape anything. Nothing is
given. Nothing is objective.

We can take the family, for example, and we can melt it down and make it something else. In
fact, we can turn it into an infinite number of liquid arrangements. We can take any
institution, be it government or church, or marriage, or family, and we can make of it what
we will. All principles are liquid, too. We can simply pour them out in a different way. Since
there is nothing really there anyway, we can reconfigure any principle according to our
desires. So we will reshape our entire worldview. We will shape our new philosophy. We will
be humanity come of age, and we will do this in the name of liberation and tolerance and
diversity–and open-mindedness. George Orwell never saw it so clearly, yet this is where we
live. Openness becomes closedness. Freedom becomes bondage, and tolerance becomes
intolerance.

The closing of the postmodern mind is not a pretty sight, nor is it friendly to human rights
and human dignity. We can look to Europe, where the post-Christian age is already
coalescing into a system of laws and a pattern of culture. Sweden, for example, already has
imprisoned a Pentecostal pastor, Ake Green, for preaching a sermon in which he spoke of
the sinfulness of homosexuality. He was recently acquitted of that “crime” by Sweden’s
highest court, but the fact remains that he was arrested and convicted by a lower court – and
the law remains in effect. Across much of Western Europe there is legislation in which it is
can be considered a crime to speak of the sinfulness of any sexual lifestyle, and of
homosexuality in particular.

In Belgium and the Netherlands, there are now official protocols for killing children and
infants in hospitals. Euthanasia has advanced to the point that, in the Netherlands, the
largest medical school in the country just reported that 31 percent of pediatricians have
admitted to killing babies, and 45 percent of neonatologists have admitted to euthanizing
infants–even without informing the parents that that is what happened to their child. And all
this is done, of course, in the name of health, even in the name of compassion. Then along
comes the Christian to say “We have a message about the dignity and sanctity of life,” and he
is told to be quiet. We can say, “Well, that is Europe. That is a post-Christian future that is an
ocean away.”

But even in the United States, we see all this coming together, and the clinched fist of a
closed postmodern mind is increasingly evident. In 1995, for instance, a U.S. District Court
judge in the state of Texas ruled against school prayer, afraid that some teenagers might in
the course of their graduation ceremony actually mention the name of Jesus, or mention the
name of God. When he handed down the ruling, the judge warned teenagers in the state of
Texas, saying, “If any of you shall mention the name of Jesus or God, or any other deity, you
will rue the day that you were born and will spend up to half a year in the Galveston jail.” That
is not Arthur Koestler warning in Darkness at Noon of the Soviet Union in 1941. It is the United
States of America in 1995. Legal observers may argue that this judge’s comments were not
indicative of a universal trend, but is this truly reassuring?

In the state of California, those who would be foster parents are now required to pledge that
they will say nothing that is in any way opposed to homosexuality or to any chosen sexual
lifestyle. Effectively, that means that Christians can no longer be foster parents in the state of
California. What a switch in ten years! Ten years ago, homosexual couples could not be foster
parents in the state of California. Now it is the Christians – who would raise their children as
Christians – who cannot be foster parents in that state.

A recently published book by Sam Harris entitled The End of Faith even claimed that faith
itself is a form of terrorism, and that the United States can no longer afford its long cherished
ideal of religions toleration and religious liberty. According to Harris, religious liberty is
simply too dangerous in a world like this.

We need to take notice of these developments in order that we might understand the
challenge we are about to face, because I fear that as evangelical Christians, we tend to swing
like a pendulum between a naive optimism and a wrongful pessimism. In reality, we have no
right to be either optimistic or pessimistic. To be either optimistic or pessimistic is to be
deluded, and in some sense to deny the sovereignty of God. We cannot be pessimistic because
Scripture tells us we are to be a people of hope. Of course, that does not mean that we are a
naive and ignorant people of hope who close our eyes to the reality around us. No, we find a
hope in something that is far more secure than anything this culture can secure.
But, on the other hand, we cannot be optimistic, either. Optimism is the message sent down
from public relations. Optimism is the happy face that tells us with a chipper voice that
everything is all right. Well, it is not all right, and everything will not be well, not in this age
or in this life. We have no right to be optimistic, but we have no right not to be hopeful.
Evangelicals, sometimes demonstrating a nearly breathtaking naivete, swing between these
pendulum extremes of pessimism and optimism, when Scripture calls us to reality. Be soberminded,
we are told. Gird up the loins of your thinking. Be ready, be alert, be watchful. Be a
watchman on the wall. Have your eyes open. Be ready for action. This is our calling as
Christians, even as the darkness gathers. We are to be the community of the open-eyed, the
intellectually alert, the broken-hearted, and the resolutely hopeful. Pulling that off will take
more than wishful thinking.

~ by Dr. R. Albert Mohler

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.

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Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2)

Chapter 1 Of the Holy Scriptures:

i. Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable;(1) yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation:(2) therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church;(3) and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;(4) which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary;(5) those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people being now ceased.

(6)
(1) Ro 2:14,15; Ro 1:19,20; Ps 19:1,2,3; Ro 1:32; Ro 2:1
(2) 1Co 1:21; 1Co 2:13,14
(3) Heb 1:1
(4) Pr 22:19,20,21;Lk 1:3,4; Ro 15:4; Mt 4:4,7,10; Isa 8:19,20
(5) 2Ti 3:15; 2Pe 1:19
(6) Heb 1:1,2

ii. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

Of the Old Testament:
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Of the New Testament:
The Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians I, Corinthians II, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians I, Thessalonians II, To Timothy I, To Timothy II, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, The Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation
All which are given by inspiration of God to be the rule of faith and life.(1)
(1) Lk 16:29,31; Eph 2:20; Rev 22:18,19; 2Ti 3:16

iii. The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon of the Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.
(1)
(1) Lk 24:27,44; Ro 3:2; 2Pe 1:21

iv. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

(1)
(1) 2Pe 1:19,21; 2Ti 3:16; 1Jn 5:9; 1Th 2:13

v. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture,(1) and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole, (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet, notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts.

(2)
(1) 1Ti 3:15
(2) 1Jn 2:20,27; Jn 16:13,14; 1Co 2:10,11,12; Isa 59:21

vi. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.(1) Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the word;(2) and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the word, which are always to be observed.

(3)
(1) 2Ti 3:15,16,17; Gal 1:8,9; 2Th 2:2
(2) Jn 6:45; 1Co 2:9,10,11,12
(3) 1Co 11:13,14; 1Co 14:26,40

vii. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all;(1) yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

(2)
(1) 2Pe 3:16
(2) Ps 119:105,130

viii. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical;(1) so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them.(2) But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them,(3) therefore they are to be translated into the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come,(4) that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner;(5) and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

(6)
(1) Mt 5:18
(2) Isa 8:20; Ac 15:15; Jn 5:39,46
(3) Jn 5:39
(4) 1Co 14:6,9,11,12,24,27, 28
(5) Col 3:16
(6) Ro 15:4

ix. The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.

(1)
(1) 2Pe 1:20,21; Ac 15:15,16

x. The supreme Judge, by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.

(1)
(1) Mt 22:29,31; Eph 2:20; Ac 28:25

WordonFire

“I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled! I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how I am constrained until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”  Luke 12:49-59

These passages from the Gospel of Luke are very important for these days and times in which we live.

 In the Gospel of Luke 12:49 Jesus says that He came to cast fire to the earth!

The word “cast” in the original Greek “balein” means “to violently or intensely throw or cast.

What does this verse mean?

Jeremiah 23:29 says, “Is not My Word like fire, and like a hammer that breaks the rock into pieces?”

I believe that the fire that Jesus casts to the earth is the fire of the Holy Spirit in the proclamation of the Gospel.

God’s Word is like fire!

Let me qualify this: The baptism Jesus mentions to His disciples in our Gospel lesson is one which begins with His blood.

Jesus bloody baptism occurs in His death, burial, then in His resurrection and ascension. All this must occur before Jesus casts the fire.

In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize Christians with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

This baptism of Jesus must take place before He sends the Holy Spirit – before Jesus baptizes Christians with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

When Jesus sends the Holy Spirit, the Fire, the Holy Spirit comes into Christians to enable them to proclaim the Gospel of His Kingdom.

The Holy Spirit is the higher element of our spiritual life we need; we need His holy Fire!

We need the preaching of the Gospel!

What happened when the Holy Spirit came? The Holy Spirit descended with tongues as of fire!

What happened after the Holy Spirit came on the disciples and those with them?

The Gospel message was preached and 3000 people were saved through Peter’s message!

The preaching of the Gospel will bring down God’s Fire to burn the dross off His people!

The preaching of the Gospel is going to divide people – even families!

Here are some results of Gospel preaching:

Some will oppose the Gospel – opposition

Some will persecute those who proclaim the Gospel – persecution

There is a disturbance in the world today, a shaking as it were of the things in this world and there is a shaking going on in the Church!

Why? Some are preaching the Gospel faithfully!

There is no peace in this world and in the Church!

There is no peace in the world and in the Church because the Gospel is not being proclaimed!

Do you see the paradox? The Gospel IS being preached and it is not!

The only peace we have is the peace God sheds upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus says where the Gospel is preached there will be division and no peace!

Jesus was to suffer a baptism and be in anguish until it was completed.

Jesus was immersed into the ultimate sacrifice; His body broken for our redemption; He suffered for our forgiveness; He suffered for the remission of our sin and to cleanse us of all our unrighteousness!

Preaching the Gospel will give occasion for discord among all humanity, even in our own families!

HEAR ME NOW!

Standing for the TRUE Gospel will also give occasion for discord to those who do not believe it within the Church!

Unbelief will be provoked by the TRUTH of the Gospel!

Now, more than even before, people will start becoming uncomfortable in their pews or chairs upon hearing the Gospel.

God is calling for our faith and obedience to the Gospel.

Now let me share something prophetic with you:

“The Holy Spirit is expressing His heart now for the Church. God desires true repentance in the hearts of the leaders of the Church; the gatekeepers, the ordained members of the clergy and board members (those who have authority within Christianity). God is primarily concerned with the sincerity and humility of the “fathers” because what they do affects their wives and children…both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm. We must not be deceived into judging the homosexual sins of “others,” this is in the open, while hiding from our own secret sexual immorality and idolatry!

We must examine our hearts, thoughts, words, and deeds first! Taking the log out of our own eye and allowing the Holy Spirit to break our hearts over our own sin before daring to examine, correct and judge others, lest we find ourselves in the desolate graves of Pharisees and heartless hypocrites!”

People, we need to be stirred up about the Gospel!

We need to obtain the boldness of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with others!

The Messiah has come and He has brought His Kingdom with Him!

He has sent His power to enable us to share the Gospel of His Kingdom.

What is your interest in the Kingdom of God?

The Jews could not even see the fact plainly that God’s Kingdom had come to them in Jesus, the Son of God, the prophesied Messiah, right before their eyes!

They could not interpret or discern the signs of their own times – right in front of them…what’s happening?

Let’s look at verse 56, “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

What does Jesus mean here? Is this verse, time – “kairos” in the original Greek means “what time brings; the state of the times; the things and events of time.”

In Greek, there are two words for time “Chronos” and “Kairos.”

Chronos marks the quantity of time while kairos marks the quality of time.

The word we are looking at “kairos” means “a season, a time, a period possessed of certain characteristics.”

This is what Jesus was trying to make these people understand.

Today, there is a “quality” to the times or season we are in right now!

This is the “quality” of our own times:

There are those who pretend or are so deluded as to think they are wise – and cannot see what’s going on in this world, or in their own churches!

They can determine how the weather will change by looking at the sky; or if the south wind will blow in a dry heat – but they cannot even determine the condition of their own hearts or the heart of the church?

Oh, pray that the Holy Spirit speaks to your hearts, and leads you to true repentance and faith toward God!

Oh, pray that you will stand for the TRUE Gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit and shun the deluded and deceptive other “gospel” which condones unbelief and sinful behavior!

God is ready with His fire…to rain down on us…to purge and purify our hearts by His Holy Fire, as the Refiner to purge the dross off our lives, to destroy the sin that remains in our hearts!

God send Your Fire down upon us!

Come Holy Spirit; rain down your Holy Fire!

Matthew 16:2-3 says, “He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”

Jesus says an evil and adulterous generation seeks signs! What is our present generation like?

Jesus says no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah.

What was the sign of Jonah? It was Jonah preaching repentance!

Look at the signs of the times/or season when Jesus preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

Now, we have been given the task in the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom!

Remember what Jesus said about casting fire to the earth?

Malachi 3:2-3 says, “…For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD.”

Now look at Matthew 3:11-12, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear his threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

You know you cannot tell the difference between wheat and tares?

The tare, or the bearded darnel, is a species of rye grass, the seeds of which are a strong soporific poison, i.e., it has the power to put you to sleep. It bears the closest resemblance to wheat only until the ear appears, and only then, the difference is discovered – in Jesus day it grew plentifully in Syria and in Palestine.

You cannot tell the difference until the ear appears…

What is Jesus telling us?

You cannot tell the difference until the fruit appears – the grain – when the truth about our lives appears – either the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of the flesh, our sinful unregenerate self, meaning a life without Christ.

St. Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit or the works of the flesh.

The “works” of the flesh means our effort or occupation in being sinful!

The works of the flesh are the result of sinful behavior that is our way of life.

Is your life producing the fruit of the Spirit or the works of the flesh?

Can we tell if you are the wheat or the tare?

Hear me, Christian! People HAVE to be able to tell the difference between you, the believer (the wheat), and the unbeliever, those of the world (the tares)!

If not, we are truly hypocrites!

Either you are for Jesus Christ or you are against Him.

Jesus has violently and intensely thrown fire to the earth! The Holy Spirit has come, His Kingdom is here, and we have been tasked and enabled to proclaim the Gospel to every Nation, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Fire either purifies or destroys. The signs of the times here and now are those which bring us to the cross road of decision.

Do you choose unbelief, death, and eternal separation from God?

Do you choose Christ, His Kingdom, and eternal life?

What is your decision today?

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“If you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. “Nothing venture, nothing win,” is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in Him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The Ninevites said, “Who can tell?” Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord’s mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek Him He will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto Him. You shall not perish if you trust Him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria’s deserted camp. May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King’s household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.”  ~ C. H. Spurgeon

Miles Christi!  I am a Soldier of Christ! There’s so much interfering in the way of doing what God has called us to do. As an adult, it’s a little easier. I don’t have to worry about popularity, school, peer pressure, or any of that stuff. Still, I’ve been in your shoes. I know what things conflict you and what challenges you have to face in order to fulfill your calling.

In the U. S. Army, a “brigade” is a large group of soldiers. I would like to see God raise up an army of believers (Militia Christi) who will be sold out to the Lordship of Jesus Christ: to advance the Gospel and glorify Jesus Christ. I chose the military theme on purpose because I recognize that in order to achieve the goals that we’ve set out to accomplish, we have to discipline ourselves and become mentally tough and fully devoted, much like soldiers preparing for war.

When the verse from 2 Timothy 2:3-4 talks about “enduring hardship,” that’s exactly what it means: there is a price to be paid if we are to reach our objective. In a physical war, every inch of ground is bought with the blood of the soldiers who are attempting to advance against the enemy. In our spiritual war, every square inch of ground that we conquer has been purchased by the blood of Jesus, along with our sweat and tears.

I was a real soldier. I can testify that, while you are fighting, nothing else matters. You can’t worry about what your family is doing back home. You can’t worry about your mom and dad, your girlfriend, or your bank account. The only thing that matters is accomplishing the mission and staying alive. Anything that doesn’t accomplish one of those goals is a distraction, and should be treated as such.

God tells us in the scripture above that, if we hope to accomplish the goals that He has for us, then we need to have a similar devotion to Him and His Lordship in our lives. It also tells us that the only way to please your commanding officer (Jesus Christ) is to set aside every other concern in life and fight the war.

You can be a soldier of Christ! God equips us with the weapons of our warfare to fight the enemy.  We must wisely use these weapons to bring others to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and into the fullness of His Holy Spirit through His Bride the Church.