LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

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Location: Phila Metro, Pennsylvania, United States

Tentmaking Evangelist (Architect). An Evangelist with the Anchor Bay Evangelistic Association (non-denominational). Co-Founder of Kingdom Gospel Ministries, a ministry now in its 31st year with a mission to reconcile people of different racial, ethnic, and economic situations, and the producer of two weekly radio programs - a Sunday morning verse-by-verse Bible Study on Radio Delaware Valley and a weekly radio drama on the Wilkins Radio network. He also has archived many, many programs on the Internet. John is also a PA/NJ Architect with his own practice in its 38th year working on a wide variety of projects. Acutely interested in politics since a teenager with many articles published over the last 50 years and served as a guest on a Talk Radio show discussing race relations and on It's Your Call TV show with Lynn Doyle dealing with the subject of interethnic marriage.

Friday, March 16, 2012

BABY. BABY

I have a baby grandson - Christian Daniel Teets is his name.  Born October 22nd.  We were babysitting for him for a while today and the Lord showed me a few spiritual applications.

We have a shortage of babies in this country right now,  People are postponing marriage and postponing children and having fewer children when they do.   Many European countries are not replacing their populations through childbirth, only through immigration.  Entire cultures will likely die out.

There are all kinds of babies being born worldwide, though.  People who value family and heritage and all are having kids like there is no tomorrow. 

Sort of like the contrast between Christians and non-Christians. So many Christians have never birthed or raised a "babe" in Christ their entire lives.  They live selfishly for themselves and live not to offend anyone.  They have missed out on the joy of seeing a new child of God brought into being through the word of their testimony.   Non-Christians, however, have no such shyness. Islam permeates societies to bring their babes into their faith.  Mormon men give two years of their lives.  Tonga is the most Mormon nation on earth.  Jehovah's Witnesses are out and about on weekends going door to door trying to birth new babes into their faith.  Secular humanists have turned just about every college and university into a maternity ward for their faith - not to mention the majority of churches. 

THERE IS NO MEDICAL REASON for a Christian to remain childless.  It is the most natural thing in the world.  We are the bride of Christ.  Aren't we supposed to bear children for Jesus?  It was his very last request - GO YE into all the world and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Ah, disciples.  You know, our little grandson Christian is a lot like Christians who have yet to be discipled.  When he wants something, he wants is NOW.  (Name it and claim it if he could speak!) The smallest things irritate him (the Lord says we are not to be easily offended).   He wants to be FED. (How many Christian do you hear complain "they aren't getting fed"?)   He soils himself and needs to be changed.  (How many folks do you know who still can't eliminate the dung in their lives without making a mess?)

It is one thing for a little baby!  He can't help it and before long he will say "self do it" and never look back.  This growth and change comes because of loving parents and family who are patient in the beginning but encourage maturity and moving on in life.  Unfortunately, we have Christians 12, 20, 30, 40, and even 70 years old who still cry to get attention, love to be held and coddled, insist on "being fed" and who still poop in their pants.  It isn't cute any more.  It is dysfunctional and a tragedy.  Those who should be birthing others are still fixated on being the center of attention. Rather than feeding others and shepherding the young, they want their every whim to be satisfied by their pastor with a total absence of any cross words or discipline.  No wonder Christianity is in Crisis (read my prior post).

We need to grow up in Christ my friends,  Real babies are cute.  Baby Hueys are not.  What are natural impulses in a baby are gross immaturities and embarrassments in us older folks. We were hopefully nourished by the sincere milk of the world, but we should be on meat now.  Christian is still on the breast and bottle.  He eats no meat.  But he will work his way up to it unless his parents become vegans.  How many Christians chew on the meat and pore over the scriptures and wrestle with the words that convict them of sin or command change in their lives?  Precious few.  How many pray not only for themselves and their little circle but intercede globally and for souls?   Precious few.

You see, a baby is centered on himself.  It is cute when he is a baby.  For an adult to be self-centered in an entirely different matter.  It is not about US.  It is about the WORLD.  As we grow, we are to become outward looking.   J-O-Y.     Jesus, others, you.  In that order.  Many believers are just as much into self-esteem as the lost world. They exalt themselves while demoting Christ.  Not a plan, my friends.  HE must increase, I must decrease.  That is what happens when we grow in Christ.  As his bride, we seek to please him. We do not live for ourselves, for our pleasures, for our dreams.  Rather, we ask Christ what his desires, his passions, and his dreams are, and we morph in his world. A spiritual world.    I have often said that it is easier to give up sin than it is to forsake good things for the better,  Jesus will ask you to give up GOOD things for his BEST things.  We need to trust him on this and seek to please him and NOT ourselves.

There is one thing a baby has we should never lose as we grow up.  That awesome pure, loving smile.
I LOVE to look in my grandson's eyes and see that clarity, that freedom from guilt and shame that comes when we grow up and do things displeasing to God.  Those clear eyes and unfeigned smile that is full of acceptance, that is pure joy, that is contagious.  So many baby Christians are walking on air when they first get saved.  The wear and tear of spiritual warfare, disappointments, and slip and falls can remove that joy that used to bless everyone who saw it.  We need to never grow away from that love and joy, and in fact Christ will renew it in us if we remain tender to him all the days of our lives.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CHRISTIANITY IS IN CRISIS

All the signs abound.  Christians are believing less in the cardinal truths of the Bible.  Many are living as what Craig Groeschel called "The Christian Atheist".  They say they believe in God but do not live like it.
What are the signs I am talking about?

1) People say that they believe Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the Lord, yet they allow in drastically increasing numbers for people who have disbelieved Christ not to be lost.  Does anyone really think that a loving God would have put Jesus through what he went through if it were not the only way of salvation?

2) People say that they believe that the Bible is the word of God.  Yet, they do the opposite of what the Good Book says.  It says fornicators and adulterers will not enter the kingdom of heaven but they still fornicate and commit adultery.  The Bible teaches against partiality, yet they are partial to a fault. The Bible says we must be holy, but they say that is impossible.  The Bible says not to use vain repetitions.  They repeat prayers like good luck charms.  The Bible says not to love the world but their DVD collection differs not much from the hedonists and pagans.  The Bible says you cannot love both God and money but they say if you love money and have a lot of it that it is a sign of God's favor on you.

3) People say that we should worship God, but they often craft their "worship" and "praise" to suit their own tastes if not their carnal nature.  Aren't we supposed to ask God what HE wants?

4) Some flagrantly disobey the scriptures by prohibiting speaking in tongues while others do violence to the scriptures by saying you aren't saved unless you do.  Others place women in leadership over men in flagrant disregard for the unequivocal teaching of the Holy Spirit.  Our God is one, and he never "calls" anyone to anything that is prohibited by the Holy Spirit.  Some places actually PREFER women and hold the men down to accomplish it.  I have seen it, and I report it with great sadness. One cannot deviate from the scriptures in ANY way without getting on the slippery slide into deep error. God has used holy women as prophetesses and worship leaders and evangelists and administrators, but that is not enough for some.  I am not picking on the ladies  - the fact is that many MEN in authority do not meet scriptural qualifications either!  Just think how many would be disqualified due to the love of money, a poor reputation with outsiders, divorce and remarriage, children out of control, etc. It is an epidemic.  I could also talk about the bondages that are taught - human rules with no value against fleshly indulgence.   Forced giving in flat-out contradiction to the Holy Spirit's teaching on the subject, missing the entire intent of the New Covenant because it helps cash flow!  It is going to take a whole lot of hope and change to get back on track,

5) People say that they believe that the Bible is the word of God.  Yet, they believe the opposite of what it teaches because people who mock God have their own ideas that change as often as shifting sand.  God says he made the world in six days, and Jesus writes it on the tablets for Moses, but they believe in millions of years because godless people are trying to find an explanation for things without having to believe in God.   They believe in prehistoric primitive people who are less intelligent, resourceful, and beautiful than we are when God says the first child became a farmer and the second a shepherd and that these original intelligent and beautiful and productive men were made in the image of God himself.  Don't Christians realize that the people who teach this stuff consider the concept of  GOD a neanderthal?  A cruel and heartless being who is at fault for all the world's suffering and problems?

6) Those who doubt Genesis begin to doubt the miracles in the Bible.  They have a hard time believing that a large fish swallowed Jonah and he lived to tell about it.  They were obviously too busy doubting to read where Jesus said that the sign of Jonah was the ONLY one given to authenticate him.  Or perhaps they DID read it and believe the resurrection was spiritual and not physical.   I just had someone who rejects a straightforward and honest reading of Genesis tell me that heaven was not a physical place. Exactly what was the purpose then of Jesus having a glorified physical body ascending into heaven?
What is the hope for the believer?  Why would God bother to give us new bodies to live in a spiritual state.  Of course, those in this deep error also believe hell is a spiritual state as well.  I don't think you can cast a physical body (as is taught in scripture) into a strict;y spiritual place any more than Jesus in his physical body ascended into a strictly spiritual place.   When one believes a lie, one also has to believe a dozen others to cover the first lie, and it never ends.  Bit by bit, the well-traveled road to apostasy continues.

7) People say that the Lord is everything to them, but find little time to examine the scriptures, learn sound doctrine, and proclaim the gospel fearlessly with out of knowledge of the character of God. If a man falls in love with a woman, he does everything to spend as much time with her as possible.  Christ is knocking on the door of the luke-warm Laodicean church but few answer the door or do any more than greet the Lord at the door and tell him to come back later. How many invite him into EVERY room of their house and let him cleanse, arrange, and run things?   Precious few, which is why we are in crisis.

8) People claim they love God, but find every excuse to skate as close to the edges of sin as they dare, and then figure God will forgive them when they cross that line.

My friends, love God, give up the myths and totally embrace the Holy Word of God, and be sanctified wholly! That is the only way we can emerge triumphant out of this present most serious crisis.