LIFE IN THE SPIRIT

OUR GOAL: ALWAYS PROVOCATIVE - ALWAYS BIBLICAL - ALWAYS EDIFYING. If you haven't already, please log on to our Kingdom Gospel Ministries website for a lot of info and a new drama each week - www.kingdomgospelministries.org

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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.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

FACING JESUS

In prayer in the wee hours today, the Lord said:

Those who love me will follow me wherever I go.
They will rest on my every word.
They will respect the Lamb of God and
The words penned by my Holy Spirit.
Those who take my word lightly cannot be trusted
For their hearts are divided.

They love their own ideas of me more than me.
Those who really love me will let MY ideas be
Formed in their spirits and they will embrace those ideas
And follow through as I lead them step by step.

Sow to the Spirit and receive of the Spirit
And you will not go astray.

People will face me and say “I kept 90%,”
Believing themselves well above the curve.
I will say, “What about the other 10%?”
Did you live in a country where the Bible was not
Fully translated so you only had part of my word?
Were you blind so you could not read it?
Were you unable to get a CD of my word to listen to?
Were you deaf and could not hear?
Were you mentally challenged and could not understand?

Or was it because it was not politically correct enough
For you or you were personally offended by it?
Are you God or am I?
I did not hold anything back from you

So why are you holding back from me?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE LAW IS THE LEAST OF IT

Homosexuality is still illegal in over 70 countries or the world, and it was illegal here in all 50 states as well not so long ago. Ending sodomy laws was one of the worst decisions ever made by the United States. You see the fruit of that today. This sin affects you eternally - starting now with all manner of earthly consequences physical, psychological, and social and then your eternity after you die. It precludes one from entering the Kingdom - no exceptions. It is not something to be celebrated.  Christians have softened so much on the issue - some even embrace it.  It may seem hard to believe, but even many who do not, including a number of Christian counselor actually permit or encourage SODOMY for heterosexual Christians!  That is a filthy and unsafe practice.   See my post "Sodomy for Christians?" from 5/1/13 which I am reprinting below.


The Jason Collins mess has everyone talking about sex. So here is some good information for you. I have thought for some time that the incredible tolerance many heterosexual Christians have for homosexuals can partially be traced to the fact that many Christian heterosexuals practice Sodomy. FOR THE SAKE OF CANDOR, I clarify here that I NEVER have!) You might be shocked to know many Christian Counselors including some of the BIG-NAME authors advocate it as normal! The Marriage Bed; Christian Marriage Today. And on and on. Monogabliss.com, a website which caters to Christian women on how to have better marriages, has a lot to recommend it, but unfortunately also endorses both oral and anal sex. SexinChrist.com is one that goes even further in terms of recommending these practices for UNMARRIED Christians, so cross that one off your list for real. Well, this article is the best I have seen on the subject. Read it through prayerfully and tell me what you think. If you find holes in their arguments, illuminate me. If it convicts you, I am glad I shared it! If sex does not interest you, you might enjoy an earlier post, ARE YOU PLEASING YOUR HUSBAND? talking about your relationship with Christ, but which will also help you with your earthly husband.

http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2004/2004-09-23a.htm
Copyright ©2003, 2013 La Vista Church of Christ

Question: Is anal and oral sex between a married couple a sin? And is my desire for it also a sin? Should I be angry at my wife's unwillingness to participate in anal or oral sex?

In describing the decay of the Gentile society, Paul pointed out that it began with a rejection of God and the replacement of God with man-made idols made in the likeness of physical creatures. (Romans 1:18-23).  Without listening to God's definition of right and wrong, substituting their own desires in its place, it is not surprising that one of the first moral restraints to go was the restriction of sex to only married couples. "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."  (Romans 1:24-25). 
The problem is that after time, this becomes common place. Man gravitates toward new excitements and new sins. "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." (Romans 1:26-28). The logical result of rejecting God and a freedom to have sex as man sees fit is experimentation in perverted forms of sex, such as homosexuality. I don't use the word "perverted" lightly. Paul points out that sex between two women or two men is not natural. In other words, the human body was not designed for homosexual sex. 

Our own society has followed the same path that lead to the decay of the Gentile society. The popular slogan in the 1950's among intellectuals was "God is dead." By the 1960's we find a strong push toward "free love." Laws forbidding living together without marriage were abandoned in the 1970's. Then in the late 1970's to the present day we saw a strong push for the acceptance of homosexuality. Those practicing homosexuality cannot engage in standard sexual intercourse since that requires both a male and female partner. So other forms of sex are substituted, such as anal or oral sex. Because of the increasing acceptance of homosexuality in the society at large, sexual practices that would never have crossed the average person's mind are now presented as legitimate alternatives. 

Let us consider anal sex for the moment -- the insertion of the male penis into the rectum of another -- is it a normal act of sex? According to numerous medical sources, anal sex is particularly risky because it causes bleeding. The anus is not normally large enough to accommodate an erect penis. As a result, the skin surface tears as the penis is forced in. The lining of the rectum is not designed to be poked and prodded, and so during sex, it too is damaged and tears. It doesn't take a genius to realize that bacteria present in the rectum does not belong in a person's blood stream. This is why sexually transmitted diseases are rapidly transmitted in the homosexual community. The wounds caused by anal sex gives various diseases easy access to internal systems of the body.

In Romans 1:24 Paul said that God gave the Gentiles up to uncleanness to dishonor their bodies among themselves. The word "uncleanness" is frequently used in connection with sexual sins.  

II Corinthians 12:21
“Lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced." 

Galatians 5:19
"Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness." 

Ephesians 4:19
“Who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

Ephesians 5:3
“But fornication and all uncleanness, covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;”

Ephesians 5:5
"For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God." 

Colossians 3:5
"Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." 

I Thessalonians 4:3-7
"For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”

Fornication refers to sexual acts outside of marriage. Covetousness or greediness in connection with sexual sins refers to improper desires for things you ought not to have, such as someone else's wife. Passion is the stimulating of sexual desires, such as pursuing pornography. Uncleanness refers to actions that should be disgusting to someone striving to live a godly life.  

In the Old Testament, God spelled out several things that were to be considered unclean. For example, contact with a corpse, diseases that caused discharge or decaying of the skin, certain animals, menstrual flows, and semen were all labeled unclean. Many people have puzzled over why these particular things were selected, but basically they are things that most people would find disgusting because of their looks, smell, or with what they come in contact. It just so happens that avoiding many of these things also cuts down on the spread of diseases. God used the laws of uncleanness to illustrate how disgusting sin was. "You shall not eat any detestable thing.”  (Deuteronomy 14:3) It also placed a barrier between God's people and the nations around them. "You shall therefore distinguish between clean animals and unclean, between unclean birds and clean, and you shall not make yourselves abominable by beast or by bird, or by any kind of living thing that creeps on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” (Leviticus 20:25-26). Hence, the laws of uncleanness hindered the Israelites from adopting the practices of the nations around them.

In the New Testament, the term "unclean" is borrowed and applied to sinful acts that are disgusting in nature. Those who practice these acts are not demonstrating a desire to live a holy life, but one that wallows in the filth of the world. Because of the use of the word "unclean" in Romans 1:24, most commentators are inclined to agree that homosexual acts definitely fall under the category of "unclean," though not limited to these acts alone. Other perverted forms of sex, such as sadomasochism, would also fall under "unclean."

It is curious why a husband or wife would desire a twisted form of sex when sexual intercourse is freely available to them. Why seek a sexual expression that increases risks of disease or harm?  “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love." (Proverbs 5:18-19)

You asked if it was proper to be angry with your wife when she does not desire to participate in unusual sexual acts. You need to keep in mind that Paul warned, "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin." (Romans 14:22-23).  Paul was discussing food, but the principle remains the same. A man is blessed if the things he approves of does not bring him condemnation for going beyond God's commands. Yet, if a person is not certain that some action is right, for that person to continue on even though they are uncertain, then the uncertainty itself is a sin. It is improper to attempt to serve God by hoping what you are doing is right. Your service to God should be from confidence that you know that what you are doing is pleasing to God. Hence, unless your wife agrees that unusual sexual acts are fine with her, forcing her to do them anyway, despite her doubts, would be sinful.

Finally, you had asked if your desire for certain sexual acts was wrong. Jesus explained that sin starts from the desires. The actual acts are just confirmation of what the heart has already decided. 

And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man;"  Mark 7:20-23


If you understand and agree that certain actions are wrong, then desiring those actions anyway is also wrong.
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CONFRONTATION IN THE CHURCH

Bought a book today by June Hunt called CONFRONTATION. Looks good so far. You know, we have an OBLIGATION to confront evil. I have been studying Matthew, and there is portion I never heard preached correctly - almost all preachers say - "If your brother or sister sins AGAINST YOU." That is NOT what it says. If we discern the Lord's body, we need to care for every part WHETHER OR NOT the sin is against us personally. If it is against the Lord or against his church, we are COMMANDED to deal with it and so strengthen the church. People are doing what is right in their own eyes and the only Bible verse people seem to know is "Judge Not"  while ignoring all the verses where we are SUPPOSED to judge!  We are told to live and let live and the preachers who preach the most pablum seem to have the biggest churches.  Hard core biblical preaching is a largely lost art.  So is confrontation within the church, whether by the pastor or my older saints who are supposed to teach (and correct) the younger ones.  We need church fathers and church mothers who will help those less experienced in the faith regardless of age come to maturity in the Lord. The same goes for confronting leaders - we are not to show partiality. If the pastor or another leader is clearly against the Bible, it is our OBLIGATION to privately go to him and confront him with the truth.  He may have made an honest mistake, but more likely has wandered from the pure gospel and needs correction.  He may not take it from you, but it may set in motion a process whereby he can be restored to a right relationship with God.  If none of that works, your conscience will be clear as you depart that place and join an assembly with leadership faithful to the scriptures.

Here is the passage from Matthew 18 dealing with sin in the church  - comments please! 
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.