From the minister's desk
From the Minister’s Desk June 28, 2020
Has the Church Lost Its Job or Just Quit?
This is a general question for the Churches of Christ everywhere? Let's consider where we are as we read this brief. Then do what we need to do to “keep ourselves in God’s love.” Jude20-21
‘A man visiting some of the most mystical places where Cathedral Churches were once vibrant with worshippers said now, they were scarcely occupied.’ He stated that “when a church has lost its mission or quit doing what it was designed to do, it becomes a museum.” How true?
Jesus said, “Ye are the salt of the earth, and when salt has lost its savor, it is good for nothing and is thrown down and trodden under men's feet.” Mt.5:13 We must remain firm, and steadfast in preaching, teaching, and practicing the things we learn as children, servants and ambassadors of Christ. “If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister let him do it as of the ability which God gives that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1Pt.4:11
We must not be discouraged or faint when it seems we are not being effective if we are doing as God has instructed. Our work is given to us by God and God is faithful. “But beloved, we are persuaded better things of you and things that accompany salvation though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your labor of love, which you have shown toward His name in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb.6:9-12 We have a job, given to us by God! Everyone must know and do their part. Do you know yours?
What is the Church’s (our) job? Mt.28:19-20, Eph.2:10 How are we doing? How are you doing? Have we lost our job, or have we just quit? Again, consider the entire brotherhood as you know it, starting with us. Why do people leave or quit the church (us)? What will cause you to leave or quit the church (us)? What do people want from the church (us)? What are they doing for the church (us)?
I pray that we never give in or compromise our position in Christ just to please people, whether for numbers, money or talent as many churches are doing today. These things have their place, but when it comes to God, always remember that He gives the instructions, job descriptions and standards in scripture. “It is written” carries a lot of weight! “It is settled in heaven” carries even more! We believe that things spoken in scripture, “inspired by God” are things the Holy Spirit conveys to our spirit when we submit to Him versus the words and wisdom man teaches.
So, lets’ stay on the job. Lets’ not quit. If no other church (congregation) stands firm, we will. To be effective we need all of our family, our brothers, and sisters to get on board and engage, love, and show concern and compassion for one another. Our job starts with us and leads us into all the world (everyone God sends into your life or circle). We must “let our light so shine that men may see our good works and glorify the Father which is in heaven.” Mt.5:16We are not perfect, but we are doing our best to fulfill the scriptures as God has given us to learn from and obey. Doing this will result in us doing our job until the Lord relieves us or promotes us! We must be prepared for either and both comes with great rewards in Christ. Let’s do our job!
As we continue on our journey backward in time, reflecting on the things we read in scriptures concerning mankind and Israel in particular, we are highlighting the prophecies of God that has been fulfilled and preparing for those yet to come. Read Mt.24:1-51… Jesus referring back to Daniel’s prophecy in v.15. We must learn, understand and be doing as the Lord said in v.46-51 so that we will be prepared to meet Him. We do not want to be disowned by God. Time is fleeting.
Last brief we started our journey backwards considering our present-day government and seeking the signs of “biblical prophecies fulfilled” in our time, which are the last times. The reign of this government is not over yet and occurrences and events are yet to happen. God is in control.
To review a few focus points, over 4000 years ago God brought human government into existence Gen.9, 10 to conduct humankind through human world leaders. Rev.17:17 “For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind and to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.” God uses human governments to accomplish His will. Verse 10 “There are also seven kings, five have fallen, (Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Greek) one is (Roman empire when Christ came) and one is yet to come (the revived Roman Empire which is the European Union). God used these governments to bring the Jews back into the land after they had been dispersed. We will see more of this later in the brief.
Over the last 45 years God has used Presidents of the US to make decisions to set the stage for the fulfilment of Bible Prophesy. Lk.17:26-37… Going backward from the present President Trump, President Barack Obama oversaw a Supreme Court decision on “Gay Marriage,” an abomination to God. Lev.20:13, Rom.1:24-32, 2Tim.3:1-5… These things are now. Obama gave a speech at a council of Islamic nations in Cairo Egypt. He emboldened them to come forward with their plans for future endeavors. 2011 Obama withdrew soldiers from Iraq, leaving the Shiites vs the Sunni fighting each other. He drew a line in the sand with Syria’s President Assad after he used chemical weapons against his own people in 2013. In 2016, he negotiated the Iran Nuclear deal. This strengthened a caliphate- ‘the rule or reign of a chief Muslim ruler,’ seeking dominion over all the world. Ezek.38:2,5-6, Isa.17, Psa.83:1-8, Dan.11:40-45 These prophecies are of the end times. We must recognize them for who they are called today and pay attention to their actions against Israel. All these nations are against Israel’s existence today! Syria-Northern Kingdom, Egypt-Northern Kingdom, Turkey (Magog-Russia, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, Togarmah), Iran (Persia), Cush (Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia) and Lybia. This is the coalition spoken of in Ezek.38:1-6. All we can do is be prepared when these things happen!
Did we even consider the dangers of America being aligned with Israel and engaged in an all-out war with the middle eastern nations? Remember, these folks look forward to dying for the cause of Islam. Americans do not view death that way. Christians ought to look forward to dying for the cause of Christ, but do we? We were spared under Obama’s Presidency. God was not ready for time to end yet. Next, we will look back at the G. W. Bush Presidency for prophetic events.
From the Minister’s Desk May 21, 2020
Consider God’s Prophesy concerning some of the things that will happen as we move toward the end times. We should know this by now, however, we must remind and be reminded of the ways of Satan whose main goal is to distract us from learning, trusting and obeying God so we may end up with him. God does not want that, but all men everywhere must repent and turn to God. 2Pt.3:9-10… Again, we see how the world will end and the state man must be in to be with God.
A few scriptures to be mindful of and take very seriously; “A day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” 2Pt.3:8, Rom.13:11-14, 2Cor.6:2 Rev.1:3, 1Cor.7:29-31, 2Thess.2:1-12… Just a few of many to get us refocused on the importance of time.
As we are going through this pandemic, being lied to and given contradictory information that keeps us concerned and frustrated, it’s all to take our focus off God. But we shouldn’t be surprised. Scriptures tell us that these are Satan’s devices to distract, discourage, demean and doubt the Almighty. Don’t forget that scriptures tell us that he has ministers also.
Here is why we are running out of time biblically and in reality. Daniel was given “a vision about the latter days and things yet to come.” Dan.10:14 This is a prophesy for God’s people, Daniel’s people to have faith in God to protect and deliver them no matter what happens. We saw that in Daniel and the three Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. Dan.1,2,3... That has happened.
In Daniel’s vision there are occurrences, people and places that we must look at and understand how they relate to us today. God prophesied that these things would happen! Remember I am starting with today and will walk you backward as we validate what has already happened and see what is yet to happen. Daniel had interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar who was the king of Babylon with God’s people Israel held in captivity. (Nebuchadnezzar/Babylon-Sadam Hussein/Iraq 2003?) Back then every other nation hated Israel and they are hated today as well. Muslim nations have vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Why? Remember, God took land from Canaanites and gave it to Israel. They’ve been fighting over it ever since. Watch how God has been protecting his people!
But let me start with Trump. Just this week we learned that he was secretly trying to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia- an enemy of Israel. They are a part of a coalition forming to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. (Syria-Egypt-Lebanon-Saudi Arabia, Ezek.38…) This is what we still have to look forward to. If they get these weapons and come together against Israel, this prophesy will be fulfilled. Donald Trump supported Israel in moving the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This infuriated the Islamic nations to no end. It could easily start an all-out war. This would be the apocalypse or Armageddon! Rev.16:16-18 This still yet to come, but not too far off. Please stay with me through this journey. We want to be ready. Time is running out!
If we tune out the noise and distractions of everyday life, we will quickly see that the end is near as the Bible says, not man’s guessing prowess. The book of Prophesy means a book of what God said will happen in the future. God is accurate and on time in time. “Knowing the time, now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed…” Rom.13:11-14 What time? The last days! Paul begs the Saints at Corinth “not to receive the grace of God in vain, for God said I have heard you in a time accepted and in the day of salvation have I succored you: behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the time of salvation.” 2Cor.6:2 We must receive and accept God’s grace now! We are in the last days. We know time is running out because God tells us in His word. We are the ones who won’t seek, who rejects His Word or rebel against it. That does not change His word one bit. Rom.3:3 “What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid; yea let God be true and every man a liar; …” We believe scriptures. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that believes not shall be damned.” Mk.16:16 How clear is that?
Too many are led to think and believe this all happens at the judgment. Judgment will be too late! When I die, that is my last day on earth. If I wait for the judgment to seek salvation it will be too late. Please do not ignore or tune out this brief just yet. Your salvation depends on it!
Think with me for a moment. I asked in a class if it was better to be born or to die? To be born is to live and suffer the pains of life. To die is to leave behind the pains of life. To never have been born is to never have experienced either. But we were born. We are in this life and must endure the pains and trials thereof. 2020 is a critical year for all mankind still alive today. The whole world is being impacted by many of the biblical disasters mentioned. Earthquakes, storms, wars, pestilence, diseases etc. But God offers an eternal place of rest for all who live life and trusts and obeys His Son. Not everyone does or will. It is a choice all mankind gets to make. But we are running out of time! This is not to scare you but to remind of God has said in His Word.
Lets’ look at where we are in time and where we are in the Prophesy of the Word of God, the Bible. Be ready for a shock, but also be ready to make the changes in your life not to be separated from God eternally. For now, I will start with where we are now and go backwards. You will see what we have either missed or ignored in our lifetime. Rom.13:1-5… tells us that God uses governments to accomplish His will. We see in the Old Testament that God used Egypt and many other governments to deal with Israel in positive and negative ways. AMEN. Gen.15:13-15… God’s prophesy to Abraham was fulfilled starting in Egypt. Jacob, Abraham’s grandson whose name God change to Israel. His seed is God’s people Israel throughout the scriptures. Israel is still God’s people today and so are we! Since Israel wanted a king like other nations, God let them have one. Then their kings and other governments brought them troubles and persecutions that distracted them from God. Jesus warns that “We be not caught up with the cares of this life that the day come upon us unexpectantly.” Lk.21:34-36 His time is near- our time is running out! I will give more details in the next brief. LGG
From the Minister’s Desk May 19, 2020
Greetings Church Family,
I am writing to remind and encourage you to be mindful of who you belong to. I see, hear, and feel the same stresses that you feel in some way or another. I hear the contradictory and confusing messages about this deadly virus and the conspiracies surrounding it. Who and what can we believe? What is true and what is not? I know this can cause concerns and anxieties for anyone. But we have God!
I do not want to seem as though I am just giving you flowery words or philosophies to comfort you in these times. I only want to give you or remind you of what God gave us. Full assurance that if we obey Him, he will take care of us. Why did our Lord Jesus say, “don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself; sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Mt.6:34 It is because we cannot do anything about tomorrow, but we can lose our lives and our salvation today if we do not stay focused on Him.
We must work daily to overcome worry and anxieties to keep them from overcoming us. Life can be harassed with worry or enjoyed with contentment depending on our faith and our walk. Both of which starts on the inside. “See that you walk circumspectly, (careful to consider all circumstances and possible consequences) not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be not unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Eph.5:15-17 We try to fill our hearts and minds with godliness. We stress and encourage you to assemble for bible classes and study for yourself also. The world gets much more time to fill us with worldliness. It takes work to overcome the world just as it takes work to be faithful and steadfast in the Lord.
Of course, there are outside influences that may cause us to be anxious and gloomy, but we do not have to open our hearts to the pressures which are sure to torment us. Our Lord does not want us burdened with unnecessary cares. He knows that just trying to do right in this evil and sinful world is burdensome enough. So, he said “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mt.11:28-30 He will accept whosoever will come. Only He can clean us up, sanctify us, comfort us, and save us. We are in God’s hands!
He promised “rest for our souls,” not these physical bodies. He promised eternal life with Him, not here on earth. He wants us to keep our priorities straight, be faithful to Him, endure until the end and we will have eternal life with Him where there will be no viruses, no dying, no sickness, and no crying. We are God’s children!