The Simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – A Message for the 21st Century Christian and Non-Christian
Today with the blitz of technology from every direction through television, computer, smartphone and even in the near future Google Glass it is enough to overwhelm the senses of every man woman and child who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Technology provides tools to help us better live our lives but when is it too much? For the Christian, does it help us with life issues or are we really letting someone do the thinking for us?
Many Churches who lay claim to the teachings of Jesus Christ have adapted or even embraced technology with all of its complexity for better or worse. In an effort to make their presentations cool and hip for the younger crowd, they may fail to recognize the inherent dangers of copying what the world does and how our world goes. Churches or ones so-called are taking in more than the technology but the world’s teachings, turning a church into impersonal video screen campus gatherings and a virtual hotbed for who I see as money making scheming false teachers. Adding to the danger the darker side of technology is the information overload and it can be an incessant distraction to what is real, what is really important. I fear we are losing our youth in a tsunami of information, and we are at real risk of our children being swept away! Many children and adults have lost their way – and left their first love Jesus Christ as result!
Reader, I write you as one who has been only a technology user his whole life, a geek from childhood growing up with this technological revolution, and if not for a God who sought me out I would be forever lost! My warning, my call to you is this – Stop! Look! You have strayed from the narrow path, the one that leads to Heaven! If you are in Christ you know what I am saying, but if you are not I assure you I am no fool on a fool’s errand. Please hear me out!
We have lost something dear Christian! And to you that do not know Jesus, let me tell you. I plead for a minute of your time! The simplicity, the true path of Jesus Christ! STOP! LOOK and LISTEN! Break away from ALL techie distractions! I will try by God’s grace to reach you, but I can do nothing without prayer. It is by God not of me. I do not ask for your money, only your time – that is true religion, true ministry! It is your SOUL, your VERY BEING that I am reaching out from heart to heart, without ANY thought to who you are because the ONE I serve did the SAME for me!
Do I have your attention!? Is your mind now focused on what I am saying?
There are many ways I can say what I am going to say, but in the end there is only one way, one path and I promise it is simple, straight up and to the point – it can and will change your life but you decide.
Science Fiction OR Science of Fiction?
The 1997 science fiction movie Contact gives some intellectual and philosophical quips that point out just how very small our planet Earth really is. Yes, attempting to show we are not alone in this large universe of millions of galaxies each made up of billions of stars of what appears to be of infinite size is nothing new for science fiction. In Contact, the comment made by actress Jodie Foster posing as an astrophysicist doctor Ellie Arroway stated at one point,
“So what’s more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that He simply doesn’t exist at all, and that we created Him, so that we wouldn’t have to feel so small and alone?”
“You know, there are four hundred billion stars out there, just in our galaxy alone. If only one out of a million of those had planets, and just of out of a million of those had life, and just one out of a million of those had intelligent life; there would be literally millions of civilizations out there.” Actor Matthew McConaughey playing a so called emergent Pastor Palmer Joss responded: [looking at the night sky] Well, if there wasn’t, it’ll be an awful waste of space.
This is not an endorsement of Contact, but me, addressing some interesting points the movie makes about our perception of the universe we live. Sadly, Contact leaves you with empty open-ended answers as to where we put our faith about the universe and even questions if that answer is true or false.
A Christian believes God made the universe and everything therein. The non-Christian for the sake of debate, as in the movie Contact presents an opposing view denying God, and posits everything evolving over billions of years. But perhaps, just perhaps, we are not alone in this universe.
I present this question to any non-believer: Perhaps if you thought for a minute that there is as the movie Contact as stated, “…an all-powerful, mysterious God created the universe…” and he did decide to give proof of his existence, what ways might he have communicated to us? Obviously not by our 21st century inventions but what way if there is a God out there who made it all including you and me – what would he have done?
Look up at the night sky, look down into a microscope, look at life itself and the planet on which you exist. You are alive, you can read or listen and you can communicate numerous ways through speech, written language and even through nonverbal actions. You are not a rock in the backyard or an unreasoning animal, you can think. So how might have God communicated with His creation?
Think about the cliché “can’t see the forest for the trees.” Since you can reason, and if you do so objectively, the honest answer is God could be communicating truth to us through creation itself. We do not grasp the enormity of the universe, and almost every day more discoveries are being made of the beauty of it. We cannot take a full view of it–there’s no full screen mode you can switch to like a computer. It is only from our view, from a planet which we know is just one tiny infinitesimal clip like a computer screen at a moment in time. We are extremely limited by our perception of everything around us. This is only part of the reason why I believe the evidence is clear, there is too much to say this existence is by chance, the probabilities are off the charts! To deny there is a God out there is to deny what is staring you in the face.
Please consider this, what’s the point of creating it if not to share it? If what I am saying is true consider how intricate, complex, beautiful and infinite the universe is. Look at yourself, how you are put together (even though these bodies will one day fail us) what’s the point of living if there is nothing more to life?
The answer is simple. God had a plan for everything from the beginning, before recorded history! He made it all unique. He communicated true love by creating us in His image! We are all created equal before Him, but now is the time to wake up. We can take nothing with us when we die. We come into these bodies at birth then one day we’ll die, leaving this world behind, whether you are rich or poor, and no matter who you are. So is there a possibility of life on these other planets our science is alleging to have discovered or is it more likely since there is no empirical evidence to prove otherwise?
Now I posit, God the one who made it all, including you and me actually cared for and loved His creation – how might He let us know? The Bible among other books out in the world claim to have the answer but the Bible stands apart from other religions and remarkably can be shown to be geologically, and historically accurate stretching back over thousands of years. No other book or written work compares with an account of creation and actually lifts up the concept that there REALLY is a God out there who cares for each of us and that He DID communicate and CONTINUES to communicate with us today through the written Words of the Bible and the gift of His only Son Jesus Christ.
The Bible introduces us to God, our maker who is three in one; God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. The Bible gives the whole plan for His creation, and something else I promised to reveal earlier, it is something we cannot do for ourselves – salvation from death and a place called Hell! Many churches have forgotten the way of the Bible thinking they can do God a favor with their own ideas of how to please Him. There is only one way, John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Through Jesus alone is the way to God, there is no other way – Why, you ask, can there not be another way?
Look at your technology for example. If you put only one password on a device, how far will you get entering the wrong password unless you change it? Take that further, I give you the password but you still enter something else – where did that get you? Simplicity is at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because God wanted none to perish but come unto eternal life with Him! God the creator of the universe GAVE us the way, in essence, He gave each of us the password but many deny it even when we know it to be true. So many want to do things their way and live in their sin and misery then die and face an eternal horror called Hell – when God’s way offers so much, including immeasurable things that only you can experience in peace and joy making you whole, fulfilling your life’s purpose with great and fantastic hope and faith of a bright future with God himself!
For me knowing God through my Savior Jesus Christ goes beyond the words I read, the assurance of my salvation overrides my emotions – that knowledge empowers my very being which furthers my joy of life in Him! Words can only begin to express how great a salvation God gave the believer of Jesus Christ His Son! Put that in perspective of where your faith lives, how very, very, very small we really are in this moment in time and space – that the Creator God of THE UNIVERSE has reached out His hand by way of His only Son to you! Yes, even you! How can you say no!?
Do you want to know more?
Until recent days I never heard of a Lingering Conference nor did I realize the school associated to Dr. John MacArthur will have a booth at it. So I read and watched this article from Pastor Ken Silva.
“Then, the LC Vision Statement sounds much like IHOP itself as anyone who’s been involved with it can tell you. Lots of contemplative jargon like, ” ‘Lingering’ in the presence,” “transformed in the presence,” and “hunger for the presence,” in the same vein as apostate mystics like “Brother” Lawrence and Madame Guyon:
The vision and purpose of the Linger Conference is to impart the fundamental importance of remaining or “Lingering” in the presence of the King. Our attention span as a culture, even for spiritual matters, is measured in seconds and minutes rather than hours and days.
This conference offers the opportunity to be transformed in the presence of God by lingering in worship, prayer, meditation on scripture, and reﬂection. We hope to draw the attendance of lay people in addition to church staff and provide a conference environment where believers can linger in the presence of the Lord.
We pray that this conference will spark a hunger for the presence of God and a lifelong pursuit of beholding His Glory. (source)”
I wonder if anyone is picking up on that music that grows into a chant practically? I came out of the charismatic movement quickly as a young Christian *all I saw were the abuses of alleged gifts* and I FAST remembered the worship music there at an AOG church in Japan. How it was like shifting the gears of a car winding it out in 3rd then letting it rip into 4th. I had all sorts of tongues going on around me, one woman walking at first yelling Jesus, Jesus, Jesus with tears streaming and a couple more getting into it throwing themselves down on the front altar of the church. Then it got weirder as one jumped backwards slamming her head on the pew (hard wood) then getting right back up and back into the frenzy. This was my last service, I felt like an outsider because I was unaffected observing what I saw as total lunacy!
The music played on the IHOP clip from Apprising brought those memories from some 33 years back to flood into my mind! I do recall them from time to time but it was almost hypnotic, perhaps it was? This stuff takes it all to the next level into the babbling that some dare to call tongues and they are filled with some sort of spirit but I see nothing in scripture except for a demoniac that comes close!
I do not believe music is neutral and these people are leading with their music drawing youth away to something that seems energized and exciting – missing the real power of worship, of praise and prayer to the One True God! I really pray Dr. John MacArthur comes to his senses if he has heard about this lingering conference!
I pray none of us are deceived for a second about how dangerous this stuff is. Time to immerse more into God’s Pure, Holy and Perfect Word.
This is what I walk away from tonight after considering this and other professing Evangelicals befriending Mormons too — YUCK!
So many are enamored with the baby Jesus this time of year and yes it was important Jesus had to come first but Christmas is not a holy day appointed by God nor are we called to remember it in worship. While I know all the festivities of this day will go on unabated we dare not forget any day God’s greatest and unspeakably wondrous gift of His only Son Jesus Christ!
When the joy of Christmas day dies away, will you know the joy that surpasses understanding with the peace and contentment that can only come from knowing Jesus as Savior? Here is another acrostic from my wife on this topic I believed was a very fitting witness to many who will forget themselves in the trappings of the day. From her poetic work called, Truth in Acrostics
JESUS – The greatest gift mankind was given is salvation from his sin so he could spend eternity in Heaven with his Creator. In order for that to happen, God sent his Son to bear our sin on the cross, giving us the choice to accept his gift or reject it. In Matthew 13 below, Jesus’ countrymen were offended that Jesus spoke with authority because they did not, or would not see who he really was. Jesus’ answer to that was basically, a prophet is known and accepted with honor by everyone except his own people because of their unbelief. His final answer is in Luke.
Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 13:57-58 “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Luke 12:9 “But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.”
Jesus was born and died
Especially for our sake.
Scorned, though guiltless, and tried;
Unwilling to put our lives at stake.
Savior to all, yet by his own denied.
© Copyright 2013 Kathy Beardsley
Being the imperfect humans we are we tend to cling to our own version of the truth or accept alleged truth simply because it already aligns with what we want to hear. Rather than accept the truth that sometimes can be hard to handle because it goes against the main stream of tradition, we go into preservation mode and hold on tightly to our pride or self-image. After all, that’s more important, right?
As truth demands accuracy to remain truth; so God’s Word demands accuracy because it is THE truth.
Anything that concerns God’s Word can never just be “good enough.” It must always be as close to correct as possible when quoting, teaching, or conveying it. When we find ourselves excusing error with “yeah, but” or “it’s not that big of a deal” or worse “wasn’t that good?” when blatant error is mockingly waving its red flags in our face, something is very wrong! It is far too serious a matter to be so nonchalant about the inaccuracies being taught or represented out of ignorance when souls are on the line. We need to live our lives with the truth according to scripture, and not according to what makes us happy.
The “Christmas Story” i.e. Jesus’ birth as is traditionally taught every year. To say Jesus’ birth was the first Christmas is as wrong as it can be.
- His birth was not a holiday, and it was not celebrated annually by anyone until the Roman Catholics made it so.
- One angel appeared only to the shepherds with the glory of the Lord shining round about them to which they reacted with fear Luke 2:9, but were quickly calmed and given the joyous news of Jesus’ birth. That is when the one angel was joined by a multitude of the heavenly host who praised God then the angel and the host returned to heaven Luke 2:15.
- The nativity incorporates the whole story in one scene when it actually happens over a span of at least two years. The wise men were not there with the shepherds; they arrived when Jesus was a toddler. We know this because Jesus is called a babe with the shepherds, and a young child with the wise men. Also, Herod calls for the death of all the children two years old and under.
- The scriptures do not say how many wise men there were; it is presented as three because of the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
- Many of the Christmas songs are penned by Roman Catholic Priests. The problem with this is the error of Roman Catholic beliefs being introduced, and for the most part, unwittingly accepted through their pretty and even festive music. Poetic license, some would say, is allowed and should be considered harmless. That means any Tom, Dick, or Harry can write something completely unbiblical, arrange it to ear catching music, put a Christian label on it and call it good. Not if it is scripturally incorrect! Wait, isn’t that what CCM does? What’s the difference? Some people don’t buy CCM based on the lifestyle and or message of the writer not to mention the error introduced into the music. Why are Christmas songs allowed a pass?
Ultimately, it is correct to say there was rejoicing at the birth of the Messiah, and there is no wrong in remembering it often (in conjunction with the rest of the history).
It would be correct to observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular schedule if one desires to do so because that is the personal request from Jesus in 1 Cor. 11:24-26; “This do in remembrance of me.” The focus was on salvation because of his sacrifice through his death, burial, and resurrection. He is not asking us to remember his birth; we choose to do that, and look what surrounds it. In comparison, more emphasis is placed on a tree, gifts, food, parties, and so on. All these things become the center, and bulk of the holiday. What very small role does Jesus’ birth (what Christmas is supposed to be all about) really have in the celebrating; a token reading of his birth in the morning, and maybe a prayer – fifteen minutes, thirty tops?
What is our demeanor when remembering Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection? It is all about Him, and not about us! A humble and prayerful heart turns attention away from itself.
The gospel of Jesus Christ, by the way, did not begin at his birth; it began with John the Baptist’s announcement of Him. Mark 1:1-3 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Celebrate this festive holiday as you would Valentine’s Day; a generic goodwill holiday in which you can show the love of Christ to others, and seize the opportunity when it arises to share the gospel. This is something that should be done regardless of the season or holiday. Let’s keep things correct – stop proclaiming this holiday as Christian, and wrongly using our Savior’s birth to justify it.
From “Truth in Acrostics” – (A poetic work in development)
LIBERTY – As Christians, we have liberty to enjoy things this world has to offer, but only if it does not compromise or stand in opposition to God’s principles. These things may not have anything to do with Christianity, but they are not necessarily sinful to participate in. It is on the shoulders of each of us to determine whether we will be crossing the line of biblical principle to enjoy such liberty. A true Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. This does not give us the authority to adopt worldly things or customs in the name of Christianity, which is the same as using Jesus Christ’s name, to legitimize the compromise. This has been done with music, movies, and at least one very popular holiday just to name a few. “Be ye separate from the world” is to keep the things of Christ separate from the things of the world. When we mix water with dirt we get mud; when we mix Christ with the world we get compromise. Redefining or renaming the compromise takes advantage of a liberty we do not have the right to claim.
1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
Titus 2:11, 12 “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
Living and modeling an uncompromised life
Is a Christian’s dutiful goal to reach for;
By keeping separate the worldly things:
Entertainment, traditions, holidays and more.
Resist legitimizing in the name of Jesus Christ,
To appease the emotion toward that which you adore.
Your liberties end at the threshold of His holy door.
© Copyright 2013 Kathy Beardsley
Just when you think things cannot get more bizarre! From My Good Friends at Herescope comes another well researched article excerpt of the first section from:
A New Old Syncretism
Who would have ever thought that the evangelical world would come to this? Dabbling in the occult and being entertained by images and idols? The very sins that the ancient Hebrews were severely charged by God to avoid, are now rushing into the church at breakneck speed. As in the days of the Old Testament, the creeping gradualism of accommodating small concessions to idolatrous practices (New Age meditation, Yoga, e.g.) and has grown and expanded to now welcome the wholesale introduction of an ancient pantheon of gods and goddesses from every heathen culture.
These old idols, to which the ancient Roman world had dedicated so many temples, are now being revivified by their reintroduction in our modern era. This has come into the culture via New Age astrology and science fiction. These spectacular stories have been widely promulgated through comic books and entertainment media for many decades. But now they are coming into the church in the guise of an elaborately constructed end-time eschatology. This eschatology claims to be superior to the old models because it is based on gleanings from so-called sacred knowledge found in pagan myths and ancient writings.
This reinvigorated ancient mythological idolatry is being marketed to the evangelical world as a new and exciting eschatology by a group we have called the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) teachers. Endemic to their fabricated eschatology is the staunchly forbidden and unwise practice of seeking illumination outside of Holy Scripture. These teachers are now attempting to merge pagan mythology with the Bible. They have not only sought counsel from pagan and occult sources, but have also turned faulty proof-texting into a refined art, creating an erratic, erotic and exotic mixture of blended spiritualities.
Across our culture, and now in the church, mythology is being dished up on a new platter of high-tech imagery. The old lifeless wooden and stone statues (images/idols) are being re-cast into a new mold. Can these “gods” talk? The surprising answer is “yes” – thanks to Hollywood acting, film photography and digitalized imagery. It makes these images/idols more “potent,” especially in the imagination. This quality doesn’t make them “real.” Yet some prophecy teachers are claiming they are real. And it is this very claim, that they are real, that classifies them as pagan deities.
As you read the following account of how evangelicals are now adopting ancient pagan mythology and attempting to incorporate it into biblical eschatology, consider the following sober Scriptural warning about staying away from these mythological gods and their images:
“Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them,after that they be destroyed from before thee;
and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying,
‘How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.’
Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God:
for every abomination to the LORD, which He hateth,
have they done unto their gods;
for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.”(Deut. 12:30-31)
For the rest of the article click here: The Rise of End-Time Occultism, Part 7
Excerpt from:Soul-Saving Our One Business
Paul does not even say that he tried to moralize men. The best promoter of morality is the gospel. When a man is saved, he becomes moral; he becomes more, he becomes holy. But to aim first at morality is altogether to miss the mark; and if we did attain it,—as we shall not,—yet we should not have attained that for which we were sent into the world. Dr. Chalmers’ experience is a very valuable one to those who think that the Christian ministry ought to preach up mere morality, for he says that in his first parish he preached morality, and saw no good whatever arising out of his exhortations. But, as soon as he began to preach Christ crucified, then there was a buzz, and a stir, and much opposition, but grace prevailed. He who wishes for perfumes must grow the flowers; he who desires to promote morality must have men saved. He who wants motion in a corpse should first seek life for it, and he who desires to see a rightly ordered life should first desire an inward renewal by the Holy Spirit. We are not to be satisfied when we have taught men their duties towards their neighbours, or even their duties towards God; this would suffice for Moses, but not for Christ. The law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. We teach men what they ought to be, but we do far more; by the power of the gospel, applied by the Holy Ghost, we make them what they ought to be by the power of God’s Spirit. We put not before the blind the things that they ought to see, but we open their eyes in the name of Jesus. We tell not the captive how free he ought to be, but we open the door, and take away his fetters. We are not content to tell men what they must be, but we show them how this character can be obtained, and how Jesus Christ freely presents all that is essential to eternal life to all those who come and put their trust in Him.
Now observe, brethren, if I, or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give in our account at the last great day, we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned? Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire, and swallows up the soul unsaved? Of what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the Judge, and if still, “Depart, ye cursed,” shall be his portion? Blood-red with the murder of men’s souls will be the skirts of professing Christians, unless the drift, and end, and aim of all their work has been to “save some.” Oh! I beseech you, especially you, dear friends, who are working in Sunday and Ragged Schools, and elsewhere, do not think that you have done anything unless the children’s souls are saved. Settle it that this is the top and bottom of the business, and throw your whole strength, in the name of Christ, and by the power of the Eternal Spirit, into this object—if by any means you may save some, and bring some to Jesus that they may be delivered from the wrath to come. [Click here for rest of Sermon]
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Truth with Snares brings you serious satire with a message -
Notes from the Board Meeting of the 12 Apostles – At the Vancouver City Temple of Fairmontism on November 2nd, 2013
Overview of 2013 Interfaith Meetings by the Prophet and Apostle Snow Flake:
This year we were able to welcome three key Christian evangelical leaders to our Joseph Rabbit Chasing University! Our interfaith meetings were truly a success filling up all the rooms even into the overflow rooms! As our founding father William Filthy Lucre Lordsburg said in our doctrinal papers we should not tussle with those of other faiths but show them our form of Christian love. Only by our kind of love will we show them the right path and lead them to becoming Gods as me. You must wrap your lives around theirs until the only path they see is that of Fairmontism.
We successfully invited Evangelical leaders: Dr. Grounds, Dr. Chips and Dr. Mauled to speak with us in the campus Lordsburg Varsity auditorium and we are looking forward to their return in 2014! Making our efforts extra special in January 2014, we will again be welcoming back Pastor Ralph Alpheus who has helped us to make these interfaith meetings possible starting over 20 years ago!
To brief our newest apostles on the board, the interfaith meetings in part got rolling with the work of Pastor Alpheus who we invited knowing his full stand against our religion. We wanted to show how we love those who hate us and once he came – how the friendships blossomed!
Today we can happily say after 20 years our strategy is working well and more recognize us as another mainline Christian faith! Here are a couple of the points made:
- In 2010 Dr. Grounds referred to us as the fourth Abrahamic faith now we just need them to recognize the history transcribed by William Lucre Lordsburg given him by the angel Gaius is genuine. Dr. Grounds even agrees we should not be named a cult!
- In October 2013, Dr. Chips recognized our history of us being persecuted religiously!
Founding father Lordsburg truly understood the meaning of patience while on this Earth, and he predicted many things within the thousands of prophetic papers. We must continue these interfaith dialogues, in spite of our Evangelical friends still being stuck on the Trinity of God, the atoning work of Jesus’ blood and so on, we must look past their errors and focus on the common ground we have with morality, family and marriage.
Apostle Strangelove made an observation in our last board meeting, he expressed concern that our evangelical friends may take issue that we view marriage as eternal and that our children become our literal god children in the next life. I am happy to report this issue has not come up and I do not believe it will be a problem anymore, especially with all of the focus being on that of the perversions of same sex marriage and other immoral behavior. It appears our Evangelical friends are able to look past those differences at least.
We must continue to have them come speak in our schools to help validate our religion to all even while they deny it saying we are theologically worlds apart. The ends justify the means, and as they continue to grace us at these speaking engagements our opportunities to win over their young believers to the true path of Fairmontism is growing exponentially.
I will bring an update at our next Apostles of Fairmont Board meeting scheduled March 15th, 2014 following the messages from our Evangelical pawns, oh I mean friends.