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Enemies of God

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recognize-and-stand-with-truthHumanism, postmodernism, and the ‘emergent church’ are all false doctrines who are enemies of God. Unfortunately, all of these doctrines weave enough truth in them so that they may seem innocent to unsuspecting Christians.

Humanism allows that there may be a god, but denies His deity and inspiration of the Bible. Oh yes, and Jesus was just a good man in its eyes. While we are at it, since God is in question, so are the certainties of heaven and hell. This sounds good for many people; after all, hell seems like such a bad place.

The ‘emergent church’ questions the belief that there are absolute rights and wrongs. Moral values depend on the situation and the generation you belong in. Absolutes are stodgy,  ‘old fashioned’ and create boundaries for our actions that cause one to be responsible for their actions..

All of these doctrines blur the lines of distinctive male and female roles in creation. After all, if there are no definite lines then women can preach in worship services, wives can rule their husbands, and homosexuality is approved by God.

These beliefs generally have no issue with smoking or drinking, and sexual freedom is a given. Ignored are God’s commands and wishes concerning sexual behavior including premarital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism and incest.

I know most Christians who read this article so far are kind of saying, ‘well…duh’ in their heads. “Of course God has something to say about these things.” The sad thing is this, many of those same people believe that God’s commands are not really commands; they treat them more like guide lines.

We are losing the ability to interpret the Bible in a way which is right and true. We are questioning God by asking, “Is there such a thing as absolute truth?” We are eroding our faith by associating with the world yet denying that we are doing so.

Christians…wake up! Empty yourself of pride and fill up again with the heart of a servant.

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14.23-24)

It is time for God’s people to get back to “thus says the Lord” and get away from, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Think about it.

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Are You a Slave?

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James begins his epistle by talking to Christians about how they face trials in life which test their moral character and loyalty to God. Simply existing or surviving through temptations is not enough. Our spiritual reaction and earthly conduct matter to God.

Chains

                He talks about serving the lord from the position of being a bondservant. See how he begins his letter, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.” James is not the only one to say this; Paul, Peter, Jude and John all identified themselves as servants, bondservants, and even slaves! Slaves? Really? I thought that we were to be free in Christ, after all, Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. (Jn 8.32)

                Isn’t a slave a person who is bound in chains and forced to do what his master says? Aren’t they deprived of their personal freedom? Well, yes, that is exactly right. In most cases this results in poor treatment, harsh punishment, and social upheaval. Just look at how the Hebrews were treated in Egypt.

                Jesus is a different type of master however. He said to “take up our cross and follow Him.” (Mt 16.24-27). Could it be that He understood because He too had a cross to bear? Christ also said for us to ‘ take His yoke upon us’, that He is ‘gentle and lowly in heart’, and ‘we will find rest in Him’ (Mt 11.29).

                Perhaps we misunderstand sometimes simply because we have just not had the right experiences. Would it be different if we had witnessed what happened in this story?

                The meaning of doulos (servant) is well illustrated in the story told by Clayton Wallers: They were in Africa trying to translate the N.T. into five different dialects and came to the word “redeemed.” They would take each word and explain it as fully to the people as possible and then asked them what word in all five dialects explained it best. They spent 30 minutes explaining the word “redeemed” and asked them for the correct word. The word they gave meant, “to take the neck out.” The translators decided they needed to explain the word better, so they started all over, but the men said, “No!” They said they understood exactly what the word meant but that the translators did not understand the word they gave back as its meaning. Back when the slave traders came over to capture their people they put their necks in chains. If one of the locals who was rich enough and a freeman he could buy back one of these people and they would “take his neck out.” Their custom then was to bow down in front of this person and become his slave voluntarily for the rest of his life.

                This is exactly what Jesus has done for us! He has spilled His blood so that we could be purchased in our sinfulness, cleansed by Him, then set aside for God’s use for life, and as a faithful servant we have the hope and promise of eternal reward with Him in heaven after we depart from this world. If that is what it means to be a bondservant of God, then put the chains on me! How about you? Are you a willing servant of the Lord? Think about it.