RSS

Category Archives: Uncategorized

Connecticut Shooting

After thinking about what occurred last week with the shooting in Connecticut, it pains me to think about the horror that those children went through that survived, and also for those families who lost their children. I could not help but just cry with grief over this. So how do we make at least some sense of this? I’ve gathered by thoughts about this incident.

First in order to obtain some sense of this what we need is a complete holistic biblical mindset of what goes on. So where was God at a time when there were 20 children and at least 6 adults killed by a crazy individual? We must realize something though. When things like this happen they remind us of what we should have been thinking about already. That is, that everybody dies. Now, not everyone dies in a classroom full of other people who are of the same age. The fact is yesterday more than 20 children died in America also and the day before, and the day before that. It didn’t seem to bother us then because they didn’t all die in one room or at one time. When something like this happens where a bunch of people were killed at one time it makes the news and we say “where is God”? But once again, the day before this tragedy happened more than 20 children died also and their parents were also probably thinking “where is God”, but we weren’t. If we had been thinking about those children in America who died the day before maybe not to a gumen but maybe due to diseases, or accidents, or other criminal type activities we would have to say “I don’t know why that child had to die in that way in that time”. But we do know that it is appointed unto man once to die. Some people die as children, teenagers, or as young people or of old age but one thing they all have in common – they all die. The other thing they all have in common is they all stand before God after they die and receive from Him whatever is appropriate.

Now, a child who dies as far as I am concerned dies on good terms with God even though children are born with a propensity towards sin. I believe that children are born without the guilt of sin upon them from any previous ancestor. Therefore, the children who died at this tragedy died terribly but rather quickly. Now I am not trying to lessen what happened because this tragedy was grievous and horrific. But there are other children who have died of cancer and other painful diseases that drag on for weeks and months. The parents of many children had to witness the suffering of their children day by day. You don’t hear much about these children who die from these diseases in the news. We could ask the same question of why these children had to die the way that they do. The fact is we just don’t know why God allowed these children to die and other children God allowed to live. It may be that God decided to take these children home very early due to other times in these children’s lives where they would suffer even greater or maybe become people who think it is appropriate to harm other people. Therefore, God took these children home very early. There are many reasons God has for taking them home.

Some christian teachers often preach that God promises to protect those who trust in Him. Well, of course when we read God’s promises of protection, that does not mean forever. The fact is everyone is going to die. If God protected all people who trusted in Him forever, none of them would die. He would have to protect them from sickness, war, poverty, accidents, criminal attacks or all those things that kill people. God never made a blanket promise that His followers would be protected forever.

This tragedy also reminds us of how evil people can be and how crazy life apart from God is. I guarantee this person who caused this tragedy was not a christian. People who live for God do not go around shooting other innocent people. What we have in this tragedy is a graphic illustration of how far people who do not know God may go into destruction of other people’s lives and their own since he killed himself to.

Now God is not obligated to protect people forever from such things. You and I are going to die unless He returns while we are alive. It’s possible that we could die at the hands of a shooter, or a drunk driver, or some disease. This could happen today or any day. This is reality. It’s not until there is some kind of tragedy like this that awakens people to the reality that we should be aware of all the time. We should be aware of this everyday. There are many people who die everyday to horrendous crimes, deadly diseases etc.

In the book of Psalms, David continuously wrote about wicked people preying on the innocent. Job’s children were killed in one day. His property was robbed by bad people. When God wants to protect, he does. In fact, most othese children in this tragedy were protected. There were some that were not. We do not know why. The thing is God has the right when to cash in our ticket. We are all going to go sometime. When we do go, however we may whether by accident, disease, criminal activity, our parents, children, spouses will still ask the question, “why”?

Now, I know that our government is trying to work on passing gun control laws. I don’t believe that is the solution. First, criminals don’t care about laws or guns. If the only guns that cold have been obtained were illegal in this tragedy what does he care if he gets caught with illegal guns? He’s going to shoot himself anyway. Even if guns were banned, there are other ways to harm the innocent. The real issue is that a change must occur in people’s hearts. Demonic powers have been let loose in this country. We see these type of tragedies happen more often.

Make no mistake, this tragedy is heartbreaking, and horrific. This is the time for the church of God to comfort those families as best as we can, and help with their needs during this awful time.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Aside

WHAT CHURCH DO YOU GO TO?

Have you ever been asked where you go to church? It is not an uncommon question among believers and usually does not evoke a second thought. But have you ever stopped to consider how odd of a statement this question is? If you did the first thing you might wonder about just how the term  “church” is the body of Christ. It is most certainly not a building. 

What’s wrong with the above question is that the term “church” is being applied to a place. But the church according to the scriptures is not “where” rather it’s a “who”. We do not go to church, we are the church. It’s not where we go, but who we are. Although from a biblical standpoint, the question “where do you go to church” is erroneous, the modern church does not seem to recognize that this is the case. But why?
This confusion over the term “church” has arisen because the term has taken on secondary applications in referring not only to the Body of Christ, but also to the buildings we meet in and at times specific segments of believers who meet there. But what does the bible mean by “church”.
In the bible the Greek word translated “church” in the English is the word “ekklesia”in the greek. The literal translation means “called out” or “called out ones”. It is a compound word formed from two other greek words, “ek” meaning “out” and “kaleo” meaning “to call”.
In a New Testament sense the word “church” is applied three ways. The first way is in reference to the universal church, collectively it is all persons, past, present, and future who believe, accept, and follow Christ.
Secondly, it can be used to refer to an assembly or gathering together of the “called out ones” in a specific geographic location. Thirdly, the term “church” is also applied to the particular group of believers who met in someone’s house. Let’s look at some examples of the second and third type shown below..

Revelation 3:11 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,Here in Revelation 3, the church is referred to a specific geographical location such as “Church of Sardis”.

Romans 16:5 “”Likewise greet the church that is in their housee”.

The biblical idea of a local church does not lend itself to the modern concepts mentioned above. Instead it would be applied to all believers in a given geographic area such as the “church in Sardis”. In modern time this would be equivalent to saying the church in Sacramento, California. It would include all believers who lived in that area without regard for where they “attended church”. It would not be used in the sense we might think of today, such as First Baptist Church on fifth street.

Another point that comes to play is that formalized membership in such a “local church” is deemed necessary. Such a notion is found nowhere in scripture. In the New Testament we do not see any other sense of membership other than membership in the universal church. This requires only that you believe in Christ.
Now that we have examined how the term “church” is used in the new testament we can return to our original question “where do you go to church”? What does the bible say about “going to church”.

Hebrews 10:24,25
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Upon this one verse, many in the modern church have hung all of their strict regulations regarding church attendance, membership, and involvement. This is because this verse demonstrates clearly that we as believers must continue to meet together. But what does this gathering together require in order to obey the command.
First, we will note that the term “church” or “ekklesia” is not used in this verse. So, it would not follow that Paul is here insisting that we “go to church” so to speak, just that we meet together with believers. But we need not quibble about this point, and instead completely agree that Paul is instructing us with regard to the gathering together of the church. Even still this verse is far from proving the argument that we must attend church. To illustrate this we pose the following question in an attempt to clarify exactly what Paul expected from us in this matter. How many believers need to be present in order to be compliant with this command?
At first the question may not seem relevant to the issue at hand, but let’s see if the bible clarifies this for us. Biblically speaking, the only numerical requirement we are given comes from..
Matthew 18:20
20For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
It’s interesting that here we have a statement from Jesus that He is present when only two or three gathered in his name. So if Jesus is present in such a small number then clearly our fellowship needs are being met. The term “gathered together” in the Greek in Matthew 18:20 is not the same as in Hebrew 10:25. But this does not mean Matthew 18:20 is not relevant to this discussion. On the contrary, it is of the utmost importance. In Hebrews 10:25 the word “assembling” is the greek word “episunagoge” meaning “a gathering together in one place” or a “religious assembling of Christians”. This word is used only one other time in the New Testament and that is in 2 Thessalonians 2:1 where Paul is speaking about the coming of Christ and our being gathered together with him. On the other hand, the Greek word used in Matthew is the word “sunago” which means “to gather together”, “to draw together”, or “to bring together”.
Obviously the two terms are closely related. But “sunago” used in Matthew 18:20 is also used a number of other times in the New Testament to refer to church gatherings. Look at these next few scriptures references.
Acts 14:27
27Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Acts 20:7
7Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.
I Corinthians 5:4
4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The point of displaying these texts is to demonstrate that Matthew 18:20 application to the question posed earlier. That question was how many believers need to be present in order to be compliant with this command? The answer is two or three.
So as long as there are two or three believers present we have enough to constitute a church gathering which at least numerically satisfies the Biblical standard. Having answered this, we pose another central question with regard to the Bible’s commands about “going to church.” What places does the bible say the church can or must meet? We turn to the New Testament to see where in fact the church gathered.
First in the book of Acts, it attests in several places that the Jewish synagogue was the first place that church began to gather together on a weekly basis for instruction. The apostles would have been familiar with Jesus’ custom of visiting the synagogue and teaching there as the Gospels attest to.
Second, we would find that as time went on the church began to meet in people’s homes. Look at these next few scriptures beginning with Acts 20.

Acts 20:20
20how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
Romans 16:3-5
3Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
I Corinthians 16:19
19The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.
Philemon 2
2to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:
At this point we need not continue with more texts as this proves that the church often met in houses. So far we have established a church gathering which stratifies the biblical criteria of as few as two or three can meet in someone’s home. This post is not meant to say that it is wrong for us to meet in a traditional modern day church building. This post is meant to remind us all, that “church” does not only have to be in a traditional modern day building. “Church” can be anywhere as long as you are with fellow brothers and sisters.

What Church do you Go to?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized, What Church do you go to?

 

Tags:

The Word of God

 One of the most treasured gifts God has given the human race is His written Word. The Bible as we have it today. His Word is full of truth and blessing for those who follow Him. The Holy Spirit brings has helped me throughout my years of digging in the Word discover the benefits of this priceless gift. 

 First of all, Jesus in the Book of Matthew calls the Word seed. 

 In Matthew 4:4, 14 4 as he was sowing, some seed fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate it up.. 14 The sower sows the word. The Word is seed through which one is born again as we see in…  I Peter 1:23 

I Peter 1:23 says “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God”. 

 If you are gardener and like to spend your time planting plants, you know that in order to grow plants you must plant the seed, correct? When you take the time to plant your seed underground, as just a short time passes, you start to notice the miraculous potential for plant life. God’s Word is much like seeds. Jesus taught in Matthew that the Word was like a seed. In Peter’s epistle, he indicates that it is through the Word of God that one is born again. Now, Peter was not talking about an actual bible that has chapter’s and verses, but what he is saying is that God’s words to man bring about life when we submit ourselves to Jesus as Savior of our life. 

We know God’s Word is life by looking at.. Philippians 2:16. 

Philippians 2:16 says “holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain”. 

 The Word not only gives life to us, but it also sustains life. Going back to gardening, when we plant seed and it begins to grow, our next step is to care for it. We do this by watering the plant on a consistent basis. We also purchase plant food to sustain the soil. Much like this, God’s Word sustains by frequent watering and the provision of food for the soil of our hearts. If you look in… Ephesians 5:26. 

Ephesians 5:26 says “so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word”. 

 Paul, the author of the Epistle of Ephesians in context is speaking about the universal church. In this case, the Church is also cleansed by the washing of water with the word. If you are a follower of Jesus as the Lord of your life, you are a member of His Body. 

In Mark 4:4 Jesus says “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” In the Gospel of Mark, God’s word is likened to food – in this case bread. In the Scriptures, God’s Word is also likened to milk and solid food as well. 

If you turn to Hebrews 5:12-14 

Hebrews 5:12-14 reads “12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. 

 Instead of the example using plants and seeds, God through his Word utilizes a different imagery. God uses milk and solid food. Many of you who are parents can remember what it was like to hold your child in your arms for the very first time. Thoughts were racing through your head about how precious that little one was in your arms. Shortly, you notice the baby craving something over and over again. Babies crave milk from the mother to fill them up and sustain them. As babies crave milk, God is teaching us that we should crave pure spiritual milk so that we grow in our salvation and our walk with God. The word “crave” translated in the greek means “earnestly desire greatly, or to greatly long after”. This means we are to continue to keep an appetite for God’s Word to ensure spiritual growth. This is actually commanded if you look in I Peter 2:2. 

I Peter 2:2 reads “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation”. 

The Word of God is also likened to life and health. 

If you look at Proverbs 4: 20-22. It reads 20 “My son, give attention to my words; 
Incline your ear to my sayings. 
21 Do not let them depart from your sight; 
Keep them in the midst of your heart. 
22 For they are life to those who find them 
And health to all their body. 

 The word “health” here in verse 22, can also be translated medicine or remedy. His Word has an effect on our spirits and souls, just like medicine does to our natural sick body. The Word of God is also indicated to be alive or living. This means that if God’s Word is living, it does a work in us as we hunger and thirst for it. It changes us more into the image of Christ. 

Turn to Hebrews 4:12. It reads 12 “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and )spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. 

His word is alive or living and it’s at work in us. One of the ways His Word works in us is by impeding our sinning. Then His Word also sanctifies us. 

Psalm 119:9-11  9 “How can a young man keep his way pure? 
By keeping it according to Your word. 
10 With all my heart I have sought You; 
Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, 
That I may not sin against You”. 

 When we treasure His Word in our hearts, when we allow it to soak and permeate our hearts and then hold onto his Word, we become less prone to sin. 

 John 17:17 17 reads “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth”. 

God’s Word also sanctifies us. When we yield ourselves to Him and His Word, we are sanctified by the washing of the Word. In closing, I encourage you to discipline yourselves in His Word, so that you may enjoy the deep communication between you and the Savior. By doing so, you will reap the benefits of His Word.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Greeting

Greetings to you all! Thank you for visiting my blog. I am new to this but look forward to discussing topics that are of interest. I welcome all comments, opinions, and viewpoints as long as it’s not disrespectful. Thanks again for visiting and may God bless you.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Uncategorized