We see things not as they are, but as we are…

decayed fishing boats

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see. Revelation 3: 14 – 18

In the letter to the church in Laodicea the church is rebuked by her Lord for her gross spiritual deception. She thinks that she is healthy, wealthy and wise, but her Lord sees quite a different picture. I ran across the article below about the fish less-fishermen…

Author Unknown

“Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were hungry. Year after year these who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to fish, the abundance of fish, and how they might go about fishing. Continually they searched for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and to promote fishing and hear about all the ways of fishing. These fishermen built large, beautiful buildings called “Fishing Headquarters.” The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they didn’t do, however; they didn’t fish. They organized a board to send out fishermen to where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in far-away streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, and to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish. Expensive training centers were built to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology, but the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing. Year after year, graduates were sent to do full-time fishing, some to distant waters filled with fish. Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. A speaker’s bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing. Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded, and were sent to fish. But like the fishermen back home, they never fished. Some also said they wanted to be part of the fishing party, but they felt called to furnish fishing equipment. Others felt their job was to relate to the fish in a good way so the fish would know the difference between good and bad fishermen. After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity for Fishing,” a young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit his fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fishermen’s General Board as a person having considerable experience. Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen’s clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men? Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who didn’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?”

Like the church in Laodicea, the fisherman had a self perceived notion as to who and what they thought they were. They were fishermen… they even claimed to be fishermen. Yet really not fishermen at all. An uncanny spiritual similarity of the church in America… eh?

malachi

Biblical Ignorance Flourishes in American Churches

Study: Fewer Americans Embrace Traditional View of God

This latest poll from the Barna Research Group continues to reinforce that with the beliefs affirmed by the church in America, that the enemies of the cross have no trouble keeping the eyes of the supposed believer afixed to the world therby giving the church in America little testimony for her Lord.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Biblical Illiteracy- Vulnerable to Satan’s Wiles

Biblical illiteracy was at the heart of man’s original sin. In order to see this one must travel back to the Garden of Eden, and consider God’s instructions to Adam…

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2: 16-17

Now one can only conclude that Adam was the one that was given the clear instructions aforementioned in verses 16 and 17, which were given prior to Eve’s entrance into the creation.

“And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18

Now we are not sure as to the confusion in Eve’s deception whether it was that Adam had not accurately instructed Eve in the commandment of God, or whether in the instruction Eve had misunderstood what God had conveyed unto Adam, nevertheless Eve’s unclear understanding of God’s word became the avenue whereby Satan deceived.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field, which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3: 1-3

Once Satan found an area of vulnerability, he attacked taking advantage of Eve’s misunderstanding of God’s word.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

malachi

The People Perish for a Lack of Knowledge

Some statistics from the American Bible Society

About 92 percent of American own at least one copy of the Bible.
The average household has 3 copies.
The Bible is the world’s all-time bestseller.
At least 20 million copies are sold each year.
Some Statistics from the the Barna Research Group

• The most widely known Bible verse among adult and teen believers is “God helps those who help themselves”—which is not actually in the Bible and actually conflicts with the basic message of Scripture.
• Less than one out of every ten believers possess a biblical worldview as the basis for his or her decision-making or behavior.
• When given thirteen basic teachings from the Bible, only 1% of adult believers firmly embraced all thirteen as being biblical perspectives.

In his study of the beliefs of mainline Protestants (including Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians), Barna documented a rejection of key Christian doctrines. Only 35% of mainline Protestant church members believe Christ was sinless; 34% believe the Bible is totally accurate; 27% agree that works don’t earn heaven; and 20% believe Satan is real.

Beliefs of incoming freshman to Wheaton College

• One-third could not put the following in order: Abraham, the Old Testament prophets, the death of Christ, and Pentecost.
• Half could not sequence the following: Moses in Egypt, Isaac’s birth, Saul’s death, and Judah’s exile.
• One-third could not identify Matthew as an apostle from a list of New Testament names.
• When asked to locate the biblical book supplying a given story, one-third could not find Paul’s travels in Acts, half did not know that the Christmas story was in Matthew, half did not know that the Passover story was in Exodus.

If these statistics are true, and I have no reason to believe that they are not, there appears to be a serious disconnect, at least of a spiritual sort. This is a case where 1+1 does not equal 2. At the spiritual level, it just does not compute!

The above statistics are not only evidence that biblical illiteracy is at a crisis level just in our culture, but more importantly in America’s churches.

malachi

Help Broadcast the Truth of Christ to Iran

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Help broadcast the Truth of Christ into Iran

VOM is helping to finance gospel TV broadcasts into Iran 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The gospel is presented clearly in Farsi, the language of Iran. At any given time, three to seven million Iranians are watching the broadcasts. Members of the audience are invited to call with questions or comments.

These gospel broadcasts are producing great results. Recently we met with Iranian Christians who invite friends and neighbors over at the time the broadcasts air, then simply watch the program with them. In this way they have led many to Christ. In the last five years, the satellite TV broadcasts have led 200,000 people to put their faith in Jesus Christ- VOM

“A Gift… to celebrate Idul Fitri”

“a “gift” to celebrate Idul Fitri” Journal Chrėtien Copyright © Compass Direct

On January 17th, 2007, Lilik Purnomo, an Islamic extremist admitted to taking part in the killing of three Christian high school girls in Poso in 2005. He also confessed to shooting the Rev. Susianty Tinulele to death in Palu in 2004.

In Purnomo’s confession, he stated “a 24-year-old Islamic extremist known by the single name of Hasanuddin last year admitted planning the murders as a “gift” to celebrate Idul Fitri, a festival marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The beheadings were also carried out to avenge the deaths of Muslims during inter-faith clashes in the eastern province of Central Sulawesi between 1998 and 2001, according to the defendants”.

When we see murder in the scriptures we see that the one initiating or performing the killing has his/her on personal reasons for excavating such a crime, but to look deeper to the spiritual side we always find satan, for he was a murder from the beginning.

Consider-

Pharaoh’s killing of all the jewish male children while in Egypt. Pharoh’s concern was that Israel would multiply, and it would come to pass that when there falleth out any war, they would joinalso unto our enemies and fight against us and so get them up out of the land. Satan had a different agenda. Exodus chpt.1

Herod’s killing of all the male children 2 years old and under. Herod’s concern was that this new King born in Bethlahem would jeopardize his kingship. Satan had a different agenda. Matt. chpt.2

Pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted by idividuals who are doing the lust of their father, the devil.

malachi

Add to Technorati Favorites

Such Love Constrains Them

As a pastor of a small community church, we have followed the persecuted church for some years now. One thing that I am continually amazed at, is her commitment for her Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. An excellent example of this was seen in the March 2007 of the Voice of the Martyr Magazine. The article was entitled ‘China: In The School of Suffering’

In the article, there were a number of young students that attend the underground Bible school in the remote villages of China. They have forsaken the government approved state religion ‘Three-Self-Church’ for an underground church and Bible school that teaches the unadulterated gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the article it speaks of how worship services and Bible studies are held in the most undesirable environments, often with inside temperatures in the mid to low 40’s.  Yes, not much above freezing! Quite a contrast we would find in most churches in America. Temperatures in the range of 70º – 80º would draw complaints from the most faithful as being too cold or too hot. It really takes very little for the church in America to find something to complain about. In fact it seems to have become the norm… American Christians are some of the most  ‘complaining and ungrateful people’, virtually impossible to satisfy.

One very important thing that I took from the article was not normal and quite condemning when viewed through the eyes of His Spirit. Xiang is a 20-year-old student who spoke of a young married couple from his house church who recently left China for a Muslim country. The reason for their journey was not a business trip or one’s typical summer vacation in a foreign land. The purpose of their trip was to evangelize and share the gospel of Christ with those of the Muslim faith. Xiang goes on to say in the article that they don’t even know the native language of the Muslim country, but they will learn it because they want to share Jesus with the Muslims. As I closed the article and set my heart on Xiang’s comments, it became apparent to me that there is a serious disconnect in the church in America. Xiang and his fellow bothers and sisters possess a commitment for our Lord that is most unusual. “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?”I fear the church in America would use the ignorance of the language as the barrier, while in reality her unwillingness to suffer and die for the cause of her Lord is the real crux of the matter. The fact that our brothers and sister in China are willing to die for the cause of the gospel is no obstacle for the tongue. We sit in our lukewarm climate controlled churches with our padded pews and sophisticated electronic systems while our brothers and sister are kindling a fervent and hot spirit for our Lord and His word.  Xiang said that he, “like this young couple will travel abroad after Bible school if called by God”. He said, “he does not want to experience persecution, but he is ready to suffer if necessary”. I am wondering why would the believer in China choose to leave a hot bed of persecution (China) only to engage in a mission that would result in ones death for preaching Christ to the Muslims? Why wouldn’t they long to come to America, the land of liberty where we enjoy the freedom to worship without fear of persecution or opposition?

Hosea 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence [sin], and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early?

malachi