Time Is Running Out

 

FuneralThis past weekend, I had the pleasure at singing at my Mother-in-law’s funeral. Now I know what most of you are thinking? How can I say that I had the pleasure singing at her funeral? Although her physical body was in the bronze casket, her spirit was already with her Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus. I was honored having been asked to sing by both my Brother-in-law and my wife.

Her funeral was beautiful. Her life of Christ was celebrated and it was disclosed that she touched many lives. The service started with the pastor giving the prayer and then I got up to sing Mom’s favorite song, “How Great Thou Art.” While leading in congregational singing, I looked out at each face and saw many grief-stricken faces. Then I wondered, if these people really understood where Mom was?  I wondered, would the Holy Spirit open a Divine Appointment for me to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many of her friends and family who may not really know Jesus as their personal Savior? I came prepared to present the Gospel of Christ to whoever will have opened their hearts to hear.

Mom had a special relationship with God. You see, she was a Believer and she loved everything about God. She wanted more than anything to see her entire family come to Christ. She prayed for them that they would become Christians. But she did not have any control over individual decisions about coming to God. As a matter of fact, a man, woman, boy, or girl cannot get into heaven on the coattails of their Mom or Dad, Grandma or Granddad. One cannot be saved by osmosis. What this means is that many people believe that because they are in association with family, wife, husband, brother, sister, boyfriend, or girlfriend; that they are Christians. This is farthest from the truth.

So how does one become a Christian? Here are some Bible Scriptures that will help someone to understand what it is to become saved. And let me explain also, when one prays to ask Christ into their lives, unless they really believe it and open their heart for a heart transformation, then God will judge them for their insincerity. Therefore, here are the verses that I want to share with you about Salvation through Jesus Christ.

If you have a Bible, turn to these Scriptures and read these out loud for full understanding:

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

John 3:3, “Jesus replied, I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Romans 10:9-11, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe with your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart, one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, one confesses, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, No one who believes on Him will be put to shame.”

2 Corinthians 5:15, “And He died for all so that those who lived should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.”

Revelation 3:20, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in.”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, will have eternal Life.

John 3:17, “For God did not send His Son into the world, that He might condemn the world, but the world might be saved through Him.”

This is my invitation to you. If you have been running from God all of your life and thinking that you have more time or that you can make a commitment to God later, you may not have any time left. Once you die, there are no more opportunities for forgiveness. That is it! You will have sealed your fate eternally by not accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. When I looked on every grief stricken, ashen face, I saw your spirit and you did not know what your tomorrow was going to bring! So why not come to Christ? Why not make the commitment before it is too late?

If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior right now, then get down on your knees right where you are and bow your head and ask God to forgive you of all your sins. You could pray a prayer like this:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I have sinned against you. I want forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for me and rose again. Father, I give you my life to do with as you wish. I want Jesus Christ to come into my life and into my heart. This I ask, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

If you have done that, then I want you to get involved in a Bible believing church who will start to mentor and disciple you to help with your new conversion to Christ Jesus. I hope and pray that you have prayed that prayer and have asked Jesus Christ into your heart. May God Bless you and keep you.

Joseph T. Lee © 2017

 

 

“I Will Never Forgive!”

Racial Pic

Racism is such an ugly and hateful characteristic of the human race. Anyone who possesses this trait is not a true follower of Jesus Christ. People like this are hearing the voice of the evil one, who is Satan himself. I recently heard a woman on television state that she could never forgive a person who burned a cross on her front yard. I can certainly understand her feelings. For one, my uncle was murdered. It was very hard forgiving that young man that murdered my uncle in cold blood. Whether it is a racial violent crime of just a trespass against us, God commands that we forgive one another. Yes, according to Christ Jesus, we are to forgive those who trespass against us.

 

Let’s look at the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13 (English Standard Version), “Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread, 12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

 

Our debts are not just debts to a creditor. According the Kings James Version, the word is “Trespasses.” This means wrongs such as offenses, actions that anger people, and sins against others. If we cannot forgive others, then how can we expect Christ Jesus to forgive us? Certainly, burning a cross on someone’s front lawn is a vile and cruel gesture of hatred. So is murdering an innocent man for a few dollars with a sawed-off shotgun. The fact remains, sin is sin, regardless of the severity!

 

Jesus came into our world not to condemn it, but to offer salvation to it. It was through His Love that He crawled up on that cross and allowed mankind to murder Him for our trespasses against God, the Father. Christ Jesus died for you and me. If we call ourselves “Christian,” then we are commanded to forgive one another for past transgressions. Hatred is an evil characteristic to teach children so that they will grow up to hate a different skin color. Look at Leviticus 19:17, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.” Hating others causes you to sin and remain in sin until you ask forgiveness. Matthew 5:43-48 states, “43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

 

Now that we know that unforgiveness is against God’s law, how can we get from racist anger to being able to love our neighbor as ourselves? The first thing is to acknowledge your anger to God. Pray that Christ Jesus will forgive you of your wickedness. Then, ask Jesus to come into your life and live through you. The power of the Holy Spirit is stronger than the evil of Satan. You see, you cannot be a true Christian if you have hatred in your heart for anyone. Hatred is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit and is not a fruit of being a Christian.  Once you have confessed with your mouth to God that you are a sinner, lost without Christ, and then you ask Christ Jesus to forgive you, He will. If you open your heart up to Christ Jesus, He will transform you, even if you are the vilest person that has walked the face of the earth. You see, Christ Jesus took all your evil stuff already to the cross so that if you accept Him and believe that he is the Son of God, you will be saved from death, which is hell. But here is the thing that is most important that you must understand. If you still have hatred in your heart for Black people or White people or anyone that is not the color that you are, you are separated from God. You are allowing Satan to rule your life with evilness. Coming to Christ means that you have surrendered it all to God, that you are allowing God to change your heart so that you will be capable of loving others.

 

Once a person has come to Christ, then God’s love is able to fill his or her heart. There is no room for evil. There is only room for growth in Christ Jesus to become a more mature Believer in Jesus Christ. Therefore, if one thinks that they are a Christian and then cannot forgive a racist who has burned a cross on her front lawn, and she will never forgive him, even if he has asked for forgiveness, then that person who does not forgive will be separated from God based on Scripture. Please see Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” See Mark 11:25, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 17:3-4, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Matthew 18:21-22; 35, “Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

 

As followers of Christ Jesus, we are required to forgive, even racists. If we do not, then we cannot expect God to forgive us. If people claim to be a Christian, but state they struggle with hatred, then I would question whether they have ever have come to Christ with a repent of heart and have received salvation through Jesus Christ. Therefore, in order to be righteous in God and righteous in Christ Jesus, we MUST FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER. That is the way of the Father and the way of His SON, JESUS CHRIST.

 

Joseph T. Lee © 2017

 

 

Why Love?

Love Pic 1

Many wonder why I continue to harp on and post to love your neighbor as yourself? The answer is this. Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:12-14, “This is my command: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command.” This is what Jesus did for us. He laid down His life for us. Therefore, we are to love one another, for He loves us. If we don’t love others, then we do not love Him and do not love God.

To continue to espouse hatred against others, even your enemies is not keeping Christ Jesus’ commandment to love others as Christ Jesus has loved us. We must show the world that we truly are followers of Christ. If you hate others, then you hate God. We get so caught up with defending statues that we miss the point of loving others. We get caught up in thinking our lives matter more than other people’s lives. This is not love. This is not showing the love of Christ. Love does not have to be defended. Love overcomes evil. For those who fight so hard to save historical statues, where have you been to fight hard to love others and share your faith for the cause of Christ? We live in a society who places a higher value on history than the love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ! We live in a society who places a higher value on certain lives of color as opposed to valuing the life of every person who lives on God’s earth. According to what I read in God’s Holy Word, all lives matter to Christ Jesus. For He said in John 15:17, ” This is what I command you, love one another.” It does not say to love only White people. It does not say love only Black people. It does not say love only Indian, Asian, or Middle-Eastern people. It says to love one another! People, we need to STOP the hatred and forgive one another. We need to do this NOW! If not for the sake of our nation but for the sake of God. If we do not, we are breaking Christ Jesus commandment. And if we are breaking Christ’s commandment, then we have turned our backs on God. And if we continue this track, then God will not honor or bless our nation.

Joseph T. Lee © 2017

 

Christian Free Speech Is Being Silenced by the Politically Correct!

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Christian Free Speech Is Being Silenced by the Politically Correct!

I just learned recently that a conservative Christian political journalist has been silenced by the Political Correctness Police on certain social media websites. Yes, it is true! If you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, and you are a conservative, and you post your true beliefs on certain social media sites, you may find your account blocked because your message may differ from their political agenda. The truth is that evil continues to prevail in our society. And it will only get worse when American’s continue to cave in to those who are pushing their unholy agendas down our throats.

So, how do we combat this? How can we overcome? The first way is to become grounded in the Word of God. Look at Ephesians 6:10-20 (English Standard Version). It reads, “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Once one has put on the whole armor of God, they can withstand the fiery darts of Satan, which, in my opinion, are not only the attacks of the Politically Correct, but any temptation that can cause you to stumble. Becoming grounded in God’s Word can help you when you are being spiritually attacked. Praying to God on a regular basis helps to overcome evil as well as it builds a stronger relationship with God. Prayer does work and the Holy Spirit will intercede for us.

We should also live our lives in a manner pleasing to God. Let’s look at Ephesians 5:1-21 (English Standard Version). It reads, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Following these instructions will help you live a life of Christ. There are many other Scriptures I could write, but these are great guidelines to start with. Therefore, do not allow the Politically Correct perversions to overcome you, but stand firm in God’s Holy Word. Continue to practice by loving your neighbor as yourself as well as praying for one another.

Stand firm and walk steady with Christ. Jesus Christ will never fail you or leave you! Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one shall come to God the Father, except through me.”

Just remember, as a Christian, you still have rights  in our great nation. If you feel your rights have been violated, then you should consider contacting The American Center for Law and Justice to see if your religious freedoms have been violated. Christians, do not allow the politically correct to silence your message. You have rights under free speech as well as freedom of religion. Stand firm in God and continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Joseph T. Lee, © August 16, 2017.

 

 

Knowing God

Knowing God

Scriptures:

John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Philippians 3:8-10, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”

According to Henry and Richard Blackaby, “Knowing God through experience is much different than knowing about God through a theological textbook. According to the Bible, you cannot say that you know Him unless you have experienced Him.”[1] In order to experience God, one must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His one and only Son, whom He allowed to be sacrificed for the redemption of our sins. Blackaby wrote, “Biblical knowledge always involves experience.”[2] Without the experience of knowing God, one is missing out on the love that only Christ can bring. Blackaby wrote, “Jesus prayed that you would experience the depth and width and height of His love and that you would enjoy God’s full and unending love in the day-to-day experiences of life.”[3] Therefore, if there are any biblical truths that you are not experiencing, ask God to bring it into your everyday experience.[4] God will bless you with those experiences once you commit yourself and make the changes that need to be made in order for you to experience the fullness of God.

 

Bibliography

Blackaby, Henry, and Richard Blackaby. Experiencing God Day-By-Day: The Dvotional and Journal. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1997.

 

 

[1] Blackaby, Henry and Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God Day-By-Day: The Devotional and Journal (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 1997) 65.

[2] Ibid., 65.

[3] Ibid., 65.

[4] Ibid., 65.

Question: Is it a sin to be angry for days?

 

Anger PicQuestion of the day: If someone offends you or angers you, is it okay to be angry for days?

I do not believe that anger in itself, is a sin, but if the emotion of anger leads to an action of assault or even murder, the actions are sin. The Bible states in Ephesians 4:26-27, “26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.” By festering anger over a period of time, it removes you from communion with God and allows the devil to have a foothold on this part of your life and character. James 1:20 states, “for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” What this means is that the anger of man is more concerned about man as opposed to God. Anger rooted in sin will produce strife, See 2 Corinthians 12:20, “For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.” There are consequences to being angry and allowing it to fester for days. See Matthew 5:22, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” Therefore, to avoid sin, we should forgive quickly. We need to forgive because if we do not, then how can we ask God to forgive us? Forgiveness of a wrong is what God has called us to do. Forgiveness is an act of love. And speaking of love, take a look at 1 Corinthians 13.

“13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Practicing love will overcome anger. How can one state they love God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind as well as state they love their neighbor as their selves, and yet not forgive someone and fester hate in their heart?

© Joseph T. Lee, 2017.

Question of the Day

Question of the day: Why is devotion to God the only acceptable motive for actions that please Him?

According to Jerry Bridges, “Devotion to God is the only acceptable motive for actions that are pleasing to God. This devotion may express itself in one of several different ways. We may have a sincere desire to please God or to glorify Him; we may do or not do a particular action because we love God or because we sense that He is worthy of our obedience. However, our motivation expresses itself, if it is God-centered, it arises out of devotion to God and is acceptable to Him.”[1]

“Unfortunately, too often our motives are self-centered rather than God-centered. We want to maintain our reputation before others, or we want to feel good about ourselves. Or we may even seek to live a decent and moral life or to do good deeds because such an ethic instilled in us from childhood. But the motivation is never related to God and thus not acceptable to Him.”[2]

Based on the proceeding, how can our motive be pure and worthy of God? If one were to ponder how to be devoted to God, then one might think, “If I do this particular act, God will punish me? Therefore, I should not do it in order not to be punished.” But if one were to take that train of thought, the heart is not truly pure or dedicated because the act may come against God’s ways and the fact that we do not want to incur God’s discipline, in my opinion does not show true devotion. Bridges wrote, “I realize that the fear of God’s discipline is certainly an unworthy motive, but the real reason that I should not do that is because God is worthy of my most honorable conduct.”[3] The Holy Spirit will help us recognize our self-centeredness so that we will correctly focus ourselves on God. The fear of punishment from committing murder and adultery may keep us from committing outward acts, but we should want to live our lives in a manner where we are not committing murder and adultery in our hearts. This shows our devotion to God by having pure hearts. Paul even said that our eating and drinking shall be done in the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Christ gave us two commandments, to love God with all of our hearts, soul, and mind; and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40). If we then are to have a devotion to God, then we would want to show the love of Christ to those we have interpersonal relationships by submitting to one another in reverence to Christ (Eph. 5:21). A true devotion to God will be showing the love of Christ to everyone, even our enemies.

Bibliography

Bridges, Jerry. The Fruitful Life: The Overflow of God’s Love Through You. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2016.

 

 

 

[1] Jerry Bridges, The Fruitful Life: The Overflow of God’s Love Through You (NAVPRESS, 2016) 13.

[2] Ibid., 13.

[3] Ibid., 14.