Hello From The Other Side

when men call evil good

Daily Spirit & Word: 794: Hello From The Other Side.

How to Weary God: He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side of life.

“Hello From The Other Side”

Good morning my friends, it’s so easy to get the LORD upset. Just use these two methods and you’ll see.

Have you heard Adele’s song, “Hello from the other side”? Well today’s message is like God saying, “Hello from the other side, I’m waiting for you”.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

 

I don’t know if you get weary of some things?

Once there was a man in the crew on my submarine that would talk the hind legs of a donkey. He’d done everything, seen everything and been everywhere. There wasn’t a single subject he didn’t know everything about. If you’d done something, he done it better, faster, longer etc… When you saw him approaching, you had to quickly think of something to say, before he began to tell you one of his stories. Yes my friends, Boris could bore you¬†senseless. But the LORD loved him ūüôā

 

Is it possible to get God weary and worn out with our words?

We’ve all met people like Boris, but imagine what it must be like for God?

We get tired of the way some people¬†incessantly¬†talk. You know the type, when you can’t get a word in edge-ways, because they don’t even breath between sentences and never finish. or when they do they move onto another subject without giving you a chance to interject in the first ten subjects. Sometimes I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

 

Well our verse from God’s Word reveals two kinds of talking which wearies the LORD God Almighty: They are depraved talk and blasphemous talk.

FIRST, DEPRAVED TALKING:

(Deviating from what is considered to be; moral, right, good, proper and true).

God answers through Malachi when people ask, “How have we wearied the LORD?”

God is answering that question for us today: first we WEARY THE LORD with our constantly saying that “EVIL IS GOOD”.

Not only do people say evil is good, but they say that God takes pleasure in those who do evil things.

What is EVIL? 

Secular Dictionary Definitions:

1) Morally objectionable behaviour.
2) That which causes harm, destruction or misfortune. (Violence in action or words, bullying, defrauding, scheming, crafty, murder, hatred,
3) The quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. (Stealing, lying, cheating, being unfaithful, lustful).
4) Having the nature of vice. (Drug dealers, pushers, prostitution, human-trafficking).
5) Having or exerting a malignant and malevolent influence. (e.g. “a gossipy malevolent old woman” or “failure or rejection made him malevolent toward those who were successful”)

It’s not hard to find out what EVIL really means from God’s point of view either:

EVIL is not an outward thing, but it’s inward; harming and hurting others or self and ultimately rejecting God by our actions or words. No wonder God gets weary.

So, when men say that something is good, which God has clearly declared is morally wrong, then that is EVIL.

What things do we say are good, when our Conscience (God’s Holy¬†Standards¬†of moral goodness, which is written upon every human heart) is telling us it is morally wrong. i.e. we know we’re going against our own conscience.

1) Abortion: Killing a baby in the womb. It’s murder. Taking a viable human life.

2) Sex: Outside of marriage. The Bible calls this fornication. To have sexual¬†intercourse¬†with another person outside the bonds of marriage (either¬†actual¬†sex or imagined, lusted after). All forms of sex outside of God’s ordained bounds: Marriage between a man and a woman, is¬†perverse¬†¬†perverted¬†and morally wrong. When out evangelising people give the excuse, “We’re all human” i.e. “We’re human so we can’t help ourselves, we’ve got an inward drive that makes us do it”… That’s just shifting the blame for our moral weakness and propensity to sin.

3) Stealing: Taking things that belong to someone else. Many people today don’t think twice of stealing music, films or other content from the internet. Cheating the Tax Man, Stealing time from the Boss of a big company. ¬†We excuse ourselves by saying, “Everybody does it” or “Surely it can’t be wrong”… We know it’s stealing, taking something that doesn’t belong to us.

That’s just three, but we’re masters of inventing new ways of being evil, doing things we know that God has said is an abomination for Him. No wonder God gets weary with people. With our talk, saying evil things are good and God will like it.

Well that is the first half of the verse, what about the second thing that God gets weary about?

2) BLASPHEMY.

Now, this really get’s God annoyed.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

“Where is the God of Justice?”

  • God can’t see.
  • God doesn’t care about justice.
  • God won’t hold us to account.
  • God doesn’t exist.
  • God’s not real.
  • God won’t judge.

What is all this? The Bible clearly¬†reveals¬†this is BLASPHEMY… Saying something about God that is not true.

Blasphemy is not just using God’s Name in a wrong way, like saying “OMG” or “Jesus H Christ”…

Evil doers will pay a heavy price one day. Everyone who does EVIL in the sight of almighty God will one day be held to account for it. God shows us very clearly in the Bible that He is concerned about Justice and will one day PAY BACK for the evil everyone does.

John 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But, who does evil?”¬†Answer: “EVERYONE”, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards of Morality.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

In some ways people are right in saying, “We can’t help it, we’re just human” because we are all born in slavery to sin, we will sin and fall short, but God sent Jesus Christ to set us all free from that bondage: even though we’re born with a tendency to sin, God will hold each person, personally accountable.

Romans 6:20-23 (NIV)
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All liars will find their place in the lake of fire. (my friends, that’s serious, even telling a LIE can land you in Hell forever). How many lies do we need to tell before we’ll be judged? It’s like murder, just one lie make you a liar. No amount of good deeds we do afterwards will wash away that lie. It will stain our souls all the way to judgement day, unless it is washed away. There’s only ONE WAY to remove the stain of EVIL from our souls.

That ONE WAY: is through REPENTANCE (Turning away from all evil and sin in your life towards Jesus Christ). FAITH (Putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ: He died in your place on the cross, taking the punishment for all your sins. When you believe that Jesus did this for you and trust that He did indeed die for your sins, then you are ready to be set-free, saved and cleansed). RECEIVE (Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOUR: Tell Him you are trusting that He died for you, that you want to live a holy, good and pure life from now on. You are ready to TRUST Him as both LORD and SAVIOUR.

When you repent and put you faith in Jesus Christ like that, the Bible tells us we’ll receive some awesome gifts from Heaven: New LIFE, Holy Spirit, New desires to live like Jesus, New family of brothers and sisters who’ve also trusted Jesus, New Father in Heaven and Eternal life. Heaven is now your home and the things that once held special appeal to you will become nothing. Everything this world has to offer in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord pales into insignificance. He puts a JOY into your heart that nothing can take away.

So let’s stop trying to shift the blame onto circumstance, influence, tendency, nature or even Satan. Let’s call what we do, what it really is; SIN, EVIL, PERVERSE and MORALLY WRONG. (When we go against God, we’re wearing Him out with our excuses, we’re boring Him with our shifting the blame, He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side. Let’s stop calling evil good. Let’s stop calling sin good. Let’s get right in line with God’s thinking. The world will go it’s own way, but what about you? Will you decide today to go God’s way?

God’s calling out to you today;

He must have called a thousand times,

You never seem to be home,

at least God can say, “I tried”.

“Hello from the Other Side, I’m waiting for you.”

Be blessed and trust Jesus Christ today,

Don.

 

When the Gospel Becomes Good News

when the Gospel become Good News

Daily Spirit & Word: 787: When The Gospel Becomes Good News.

The Grinding Power of Sin.

Slaves Set Free:

Romans 6:19-22 (NIV)
19  I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Good morning my friends, it was a good night of witnessing on the Streets of West Norwood last night. We gave out a few tracts, but after just a couple of minutes were were into a wonderful Gospel conversation with a lovely young couple from¬†Madeira¬†(Portugal). Last night I teamed up with Judy (Ben’s wife) and we just got chatting by given the couple a Million Pound Note (One of our little Gospel Tracts). I asked the young man, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” He answered, “I’d return to Portugal”. And the woman said, “I’d return to¬†Madeira”. I said, “WOW, that’s really interesting, why Madeira?” They said, “Life in Madeira compared to¬†London¬†is like heaven”. I said, “Here’s what we’re about tonight, do you believe in Heaven?” They both said, “Not really, we don’t think about Heaven as a place”… I said, “Do you believe in God?” They answered “No, not really”… I was intrigued and asked a few more questions about their beliefs. It turns out, they both had to attend religious education in Madeira until they were twelve, that was the tradition in Madeira. They attended church, but as soon as they were twelve years old they were free from the burdens of religious observance.

So I opened up the ‘Spiritual’ conversation again with, “Madeira is reputed to have some of the oldest people on the planet, some people live to well into their hundreds.” The woman,¬†Tatiana, knew a woman who’d died at 119 years old. I continued, “If you live to 120 years, then you die, if Heaven is real, where will you go? Heaven or Hell?” They both stated, “Well I’m a good person, so if heaven is real, I’ll definitely go there”. It’s amazing, because we know from experience that most people believe what Tatiana and Pedro do, that ‘good people’ go to heaven and bad people go to hell. Also, that most people believe they are the good ones, and if Heaven is real they will be good enough.

I asked, “We’ve got a little test that shows you immediately if you’d be good enough for Heaven” I gave them both one of our Ten Commandment Coins. They took it and said, “WOW this is nice”… I said, “You can keep it, it’s yours. Now the Ten Commandments are like a mirror, they show a person the condition of their soul on the inside.” They both remembered the Ten Commandments from their childhood teachings. I asked both of them, “The Commandments say, ‘Don’t tell lies’, Have you ever told a lie?” They both admitted readily that they’d told lies. We got into a conversation about lying, and agreed that almost everybody has told at least one lie, even me and Judy ūüôā But they didn’t see the seriousness of lying. I asked, “How many lies do I have to tell to become a Liar?” They said, “Just one”. “That’s right” I said, “It only takes one lie to make a person a liar, but did you know that just one lie will keep you out of heaven for all eternity?” They said, “Then nobody is going to be in Heaven”… (Isn’t that sobering? The fact that nobody will go to heaven if they died in their sins?”)

Here’s the next one; “Have you ever stolen anything?” They both said, “When we were kids”, but then went onto admit they’d also taken things that didn’t belong to them as adults. Pedro had nicked from his mother’s purse.¬†Tatiana had stolen music on the internet. However,¬†neither¬†of them saw the seriousness of their crime before God, yet ūüôā¬†¬†I said, “Are you aware the Bible teaches that no thief can enter into the Kingdom of God?”

Here’s the next one; “Pedro and Tatiana, you’ve both been really honest so far, but have you always honoured your mum and dad?” Family honour is very important in Portugal, they both said, “We’d never dishonour our mum and dad, but I took them back over the commands they’d already admitted and said, “Stealing and lying to your mum and dad, that’s dishonourable don’t you think?” They both nodded in shame. But the Bible teaches that when we dishonour our mum and dad, we’re cut off from the Kingdom forever.

So I asked, “That’s just three of the commandments, if God were to Judge you by that standard, would you go to Heaven or Hell?” They said, “Hell”… Then we got into a conversation about the after-life again and what they really believed. I brought it back after a few minutes, “but suppose it is real, Heaven and Hell, wouldn’t you want to make sure you’d be on your way to Heaven? You see Pedro and Tatiana, God doesn’t want to send a single soul to Hell forever, He did something 2000 years ago to give people the chance of going to Heaven, do you know what that was?”. They didn’t know, so I asked, “Have you heard about Jesus?” They both clicked, “Jesus was God come down to Earth to show us how to live a good life”… Then I asked, “How did Jesus die?” It was like turning a light on in a dark room. Pedro and Tatiana said, “He died for our sins”… “It’s not enough to know that Jesus died for sins” I explained, “To get forgiven and cleansed from our sins so that we’ll be fit for heaven, we’ll need to do something, do you know what that is?” They both said, “Repent and ask for forgiveness”… I said, “Yes that’s right, but there’s more. Everyone need to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, receive Him as Lord (Boss of their life), and ask for forgiveness, trusting that Jesus died for their own sins. Does that make sense to you?”

I asked them, (they both work in the Catering industry), if you took a delivery of chicken and one piece of chicken was rotten, would you put it in the fridge beside the good chicken?” They both said, “No, we’d throw it out,” I asked, “Why? Why would you throw out that rotten piece of chicken?” They said, “Because it would contaminate the rest of the chicken”. I explained, “That’s exactly why God will not let anyone who dies in their sins; lying, stealing etc into His Holy Heaven, because our sins would contaminate His Holy Heaven”… They both said, “Then nobody is going to Heaven”… I said, “That’s right, unless they repent and turn in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for their sins on the Cross and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour”…

PRAYER:

You know my friends, Pedro and Tatiana both thanked us last night. We encouraged them to read the Bible and see if what we were telling them was the truth. We asked them to come to church. We said we’d be prepared to meet-up with them again and pray and read the Bible over a coffee. But I encouraged them, “Don’t leave it too long before you turn to Jesus”… They walked away chatting together.

It’s not enough to just proclaim the Gospel, we’ve got to try and help people to understand it, that takes time, love, care, gentleness, humour, but above all boldness to bring the conversation back to the most important topic, their eternal destiny. I thank the Lord for Pedro and Tatiana, will you pray for them, that they’ll both come to the point of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour? We had a good laugh, but always got back to the seriousness of their spiritual condition. It’s amazing, but once people understand the Gospel, they are either thankful or disturbed. Pedro and Tatiana had never heard the Gospel explained or why Jesus died on the Cross like that before. Can you see the desperate need there is, to take time with folks and love them enough to share Jesus’ message of Good News?

Now, their God given Conscience will go to work, it will do it’s job of showing them their sins again (How? Because the Law of God brings light to the soul, it awakens the Conscience ), the Holy Spirit will use the Gospel to draw them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

WHY USE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS?

Some people ask us, “Why don’t you just talk about the love of God and Grace? Why do you keep going on about the Commandments?” Well, if I was to just tell someone they are a sinner without explaining why, they’d be offended. It’s offensive to just say, “We’ve all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” because most people don’t think they have, most people don’t know the seriousness of their sins. We’ve found that about 90% of people think they a good enough for Heaven. So we need to show a person just how serious sin is, before they’ll even consider listening to the Good News. The good news only makes sense when we see the seriousness of our condition without a Saviour.

Here’s the reason why we use the LAW (Ten Commandments) when sharing the Gospel with folks: It awakens the Conscience: “we become conscious of sin”… In other words, we see the seriousness of our sinful condition by opening up God’s law.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Charles Spurgeon said: Concerning The Law (Ten Commandments).

  1. The first use of the law is to manifest to man his guilt.

When God intends to save a man, the first thing he does with him is to send the law to him, to show him how guilty, how vile, how ruined he is, and in how dangerous a position. You see that man lying there on the edge of the precipice; he is sound asleep, and just on the perilous verge of the cliff. One single movement, and he will roll over and be broken in pieces on the jagged rocks beneath, and nothing more shall be heard of him. How is he to be saved? What shall be done for him‚ÄĒwhat shall be done! It is our position; we, too, are lying on the brink of ruin, but we are insensible of it. God, when he begins to save us from such an imminent danger, sendeth his law, which, with a stout kick, rouses us up, makes us open our eyes, we look down on our terrible danger, discover our miseries, and then it is we are in a right position to cry out for salvation, and our salvation comes to us. The law acts with man as the physician does when he takes the film from the eye of the blind. Self-righteous men are blind men, though they think themselves good and excellent. The law takes that film away, and lets them discover how vile they are, and how utterly ruined and condemned if they are to abide under the sentence of the law.

Instead, however, of treating this doctrinally, I shall treat it practically, and come home to each of your consciences. My, hearer, does not the law of God convince you of sin this morning? Under the hand of God’s Spirit does it not make you feel that you have been guilty, that you deserve to be lost, that you have incurred the fierce anger of God? Look ye here, have ye not broken these ten commandments; even in the letter have ye not broken them? Who is there among you who hath always honored his father and mother? Who is there among us who hath always spoken the truth? Have we not sometimes borne false witness against our neighbor? Is there one person here who has not made unto himself another God, and loved himself, or his business, or his friends, more than he has Jehovah, the God of the whole earth? Which of you hath not coveted your neighbour’s house, or his man-servant, or his ox, or his ass? We are all guilty with regard to every letter of the law; we have all of us transgressed the commandments. And if we really understood these commandments, and felt that they condemned us, they would have this useful influence on us of showing us our danger, and so of leading us to fly to Christ. But, my hearers, does not this law condemn you, because even if you should say you have not broken the letter of it, yet you have violated the spirit of it. What, though you have never killed, yet we are told, he that is angry with his brother is a murderer. As a negro said once, “Sir, I thought me no kill‚ÄĒme innocent there; but when I heard that he that hateth his brother is a murderer, then me cry guilty, for me have killed twenty men before breakfast very often, for I have been angry with many of them very often.” This law does not only mean what it says in words, but it has deep things hidden in its bowels. It says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” but it means, as Jesus has it, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” It says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain,” it meaneth that we should reverence God in every place, and have his fear before our eyes, and should always pay respect unto his ordinances and evermore walk in his fear and love. Ay, my brethren, surely there is not one here so fool-hardy in self-righteousness as to say, “I am innocent.” The spirit of the law condemns us. And this is its useful property; it humbles us, makes us know we are guilty, and so are we led to receive the Saviour.

http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/sermons/0128.htm

We saw that this is exactly right, it happened last night, when we opened up the law with Pedro and Tatiana, they soon stopped trying to justify themselves and wanted to know what they could do to be saved from the consequences of the law.

The Grinding Power Of Sin: Samson was in PRISON:

Judges 16:20-22 (NIV)
20 ¬†Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him.
21  Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.
22  But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

He was blinded, bound and made to grind the corn for God’s enemies.

That’s the condition of everyone who lives with sin in their life, until they are set free by the LORD Jesus Christ. Sin blinds, it binds and it makes us grind. Life is worth living to the full, but life like Samson’s is; darkness, slavery and drudgery. Until we’re set free by the LORD Jesus Christ.

The prison is a place of blinding, binding and grinding!

Grinding was considered to be woman’s work, this added to Samson’s humiliation.

Here is the point; Samson was born to be a liberator. He was raised up by God to lead the people of God out of bondage. He was given power so that he might use his energy for the glory of the Lord. But, here is the mighty judge of Israel, blinded, bound and grinding corn for the enemies of God. (Note: That is the power of sin! It will rob you of your power and leave you with nothing with which to serve God. There will be no time, no energy and no interest in the things of God. Your life will be dominated by the grinding power of sin.)

My friends, share the Gospel with the folks you love.

Get full of God’s love and you’ll want to set others free.

Their condition, as Charles Spurgeon has so eloquently put it, is perilous. They are on the cliff-edge, in danger of God’s judgement and hell. If anyone dies in their sins, they’ll receive God’s wrath against sin. Let’s set as many free by going, by showing, by loving them into God’s Kingdom family. Amen!

Be blessed today and stay close to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Don.

 

You can read or listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.

or even watch it below:

 

When the LIGHT within is DARKNESS

Lust, Pornography, Sexual Sin, Freedom in Christ,

Daily Spirit & Word: 758: The Eye is the Lamp of the Body.

But what happens when the LIGHT within is DARKNESS?

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body”

i.e. what we look at will bring it’s light into our souls. It’s either dark-light (darkness) or goodness (Light).

Good morning my friends, for the last couple of weeks the LORD has placed those words on my heart, I’ve been reading His WORD and praying about what I should share. It may be that now is the time to share it.

LUST OF THE EYES.

One of the greatest chapters in the Bible to deal with LUST of the EYES is Job 31…

Job 31:1-12 (NIV)
1¬†¬†“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
2 ¬†For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high?
3  Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?
4  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?
5 ¬†“If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit‚ÄĒ
6 ¬†let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless‚ÄĒ
7  if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled,
8  then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.
9 ¬†“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbour’s door,
10 ¬†then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.
11  For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged.
12  It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.
Whatever harvest you’ve been working for in your life will be BURNED TO DESTRUCTION if you allow your eyes to contaminate your soul with darkness.

The EYE is the LAMP: It can either allow in darkness or light.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22 ¬†“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Question: What have you been allowing your eyes to dwell upon?

Darkness or Light?

Confession Time: Newspaper Shop: W. H. Smiths.¬†For a long time I had been witnessing to my friends whilst serving in the Royal Navy on Submarines. I had shared the Gospel with them. One day whilst in a Newspaper shop in the 1980s, I was standing in front of the row of Magazines. It was a large Newspaper shop with lots of customers. On the TOP SHELF in those days you’d have Pornographic Magazines with everything on display (I’ll not go into too much detail). In the Navy, officially pornography was banned, but unofficially, everybody used to have some PORN. We’d see it on a daily basis; on watch, off watch, on duty and off duty. In the mess they’d have pornographic videos playing, before¬†videos came along¬†it was reel-to-reel films. After becoming a Christian, nobody told me, but I knew in my heart I should no-longer indulge in pornographic material. Back to the Newspaper shop: I was standing there looking for a computer magazine, but my eyes drifted upward, until they were glued on the pornographic scene, hundreds of them, all lined up on the Top Shelf for me to enjoy. Just then a man walked in and stood beside me, he was looking upwards as well, he said, “And you a good Christian too”… I turned and it was one of the men I’d been witnessing to for ages. I’d been praying that he would come to know Jesus and here was I, looking at pornography. Immediately my face turned beetroot red, I stammered an excuse, denied it initially, but I’d been caught out big-time. My witness was ruined. At the moment I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

Consumed with guilt and shame, as soon as I could I got home and fell to my knees in prayer, asking the LORD to forgive me. Why? Because I’d done the opposite of what Job had done, I hadn’t followed God’s Word or God’s Spirit and I’d ignored my own God given Conscience: I’ll never forget it, deliberately ignoring it. You know when smoke alarms get so annoying you take out the battery, from that moment on the smoke-alarm is useless. When we ignore our conscience or go against it, then it’s as if we’ve taken out the battery to silence the alarm.

When we allow our eyes to be tempted, to dwell upon things the Lord, the Holy Spirit and our Conscience are telling us we shouldn’t, then we are inviting the darkness into our lives. We are igniting a fire that cannot be quenched “It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.” I don’t know if that man I’d been witnessing to about Jesus ever became a follower of Jesus, but perhaps my¬†hypocrisy, my weakness and my sin kept him from seeing the light of the Lord. I can’t tell you how much I regretted that day, it even makes me feel ashamed right now. It took such a long time for me to feel NEW again, to feel close to Jesus, to feel the warmth and love and light of the Holy Spirit in my heart again. Praise the LORD I was not exposed at that time to public shame. There were no newspapers with the caption “Royal Navy Christian Gazes Upon Porn”…. However, now that I’ve been SET FREE from shame and guilt, I can share with you my experience of deliberately allowing my eyes to dwell upon an unclean thing, and the consequent shame, guilt and horror that it brought into my life.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22 ¬†“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

It was a dark time for me, oh my friends, be very careful what you allow your eyes to feast upon. I encourage you to be like Job (make a Covenant with your eyes) and like Joseph who declared when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, this is how he reasoned in his heart;

Genesis 39:9 (NIV) “No-one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Every SIN we commit is against God: Yes, even when we think lustful thoughts, we’re guilty, as Jesus said, of adultery, it’s against our spouse or partner, but if we’re not married is it wrong to lust? Yes it is my friends, it’s a SIN against God, because we’re being unfaithful to HIM. But what if you are married or committed to someone? Imagine how they’d feel if they knew you’d been unfaithful in your thoughts? It would crush their spirits and tear-trust to shreds.

God has given us, followers of Jesus Christ, the whole world to richly enjoy. He’s not a spoil-sport, that’s why His Creation is so beautiful, but when we allow dark-light into our souls, when the light becomes darkness within, then we’re in danger my friends, “HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS”…

I can tell you this, because I’ve been in the darkness or the darkness has been in me, even after following Jesus, it’s a terrible darkness to be sure. It brings with it FEAR, DREAD, (Dread is a fearful expectation or anticipation that something terrible is about to happen)… It brings GUILT… However, when we’re walking with the LORD Jesus, being guided by His Holy Spirit and listening to our God given conscience then know this my friends, “There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus”… We’ll experience FREEDOM not to look with lust. We’ll have POWER to walk in the LIGHT and stay in the LIGHT… How does that happen? If we see a lovely figure, that before we were tempted by, we’ll be able to thank God for the beauty and not begin to think lustful thoughts. HOW? Because the Holy Spirit gives us His power and freedom and self-control. It’s a fruit and gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we’ve got a choice to make every day and moment by moment¬†throughout¬†the day. Temptation will never go away, but how we deal with those temptations, that’s what will preserve our hearts and enable us to be full of light, full of goodness.

The Day That FREEDOM Comes:

As many of you know, I used to live in Plymouth, on the way back from a tour on my Submarine, I was driving into Plymouth and noticed this sign on the A38 just outside the City. It had a picture of a Tower with the words in Latin.¬†“Turris Fortissima Est Nomen Jehova”, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower” It wasn’t long afterwards that I regained my freedom in Christ. Through tears of joy and peace, I was back with my Lord Jesus. Oh my friends, I can testify “How GREAT is that DARKNESS” but what’s even more blessed “HOW WONDERFUL IS THE LIGHT”…

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV) “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Jesus Christ will keep you safe from temptation, He’s like a strong tower, a fortress that cannot be broken into, but we need to run to Him. We need to flee temptation and run to Jesus in prayer at that moment. We’ll be SAFE as long as we run to the Saviour.

NO TEMPTATION HAS CAUGHT YOU.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“Common to man”, means we’re ALL TEMPTED, but how we deal with it, that’s the answer… Run to Jesus, the Strong Fortress that cannot be¬†conquered.

Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. What are you treasuring in your heart today?

“No one can serve two masters”. If you are trying to serve Jesus and also serving your lusts, then you are only fooling yourself. The Darkness within is GREAT. Walk in the Light.

Amen!

That’s how we can know we need the LORD Jesus every single day.

There will never be a time when you don’t need Jesus.

Stay close to Jesus this week my friends.

If you are tempted or if you’ve allowed the DARKNESS to reign in your heart too long, you may need prayers of deliverance. Go to a trusted brother or sister who’s walking closely with Lord Jesus and get them to pray with you. Confess your sins to one another… Be set free today by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, help me to love you today, more than I love this world or the beautiful things in this world. There’s so much You’ve given me to be thankful for, please keep my heart close to Your Heart Lord. Let me appreciate and love the things that You love. Let me walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Let me live in Freedom. Give me self-control, the fruit and gift of the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Spirit right now Jesus, I need you LORD…Amen!

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus today. Amen!

Don.

 

Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest

King Solomon's Temple Destroyed because of sin and rebellion

Daily Spirit & Word: 752: Don’t Go Near The Hornet’s Nest.

Sin Brings: Destruction and Deportation.

Ezra 5:11-12 (NIV)
11 ¬†This is the answer they gave us: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, one that a great king of Israel built and finished.¬†12 ¬†But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.

WARNING: Don’t Anger The God of Heaven and Earth.

John 5:14 (ESV)¬†Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‚ÄúSee, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.‚ÄĚ

Good morning my friends, have you ever wondered if your sin would bring God’s wrath and anger against you? For hundreds of years after King Solomon had done a marvellous work for God, building the magnificent Temple, there was a long time of decline in National morals. Eventually, after warning the people time and time again, God’s anger burned and He brought upon them the promised punishment and they were deported from His promised land.

We just don’t know how much God hates SIN:

  • Sin is rebellion against God.
  • Sin is transgression of God’s law.
  • Sin is breaking one or other of God’s Commandments.
  • Sin is going our own way instead of God’s way.

The Consequences of SIN: Destruction and Deportation.

Are YOU In Trouble With God?

Read the verse from Ezra once more:

“But because our fathers angered the God of heaven, he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Border Police: Deportation.

The other week in West Norwood, as we were out sharing the Good News of Jesus, right across the road from where we were witnessing a DRAMA unfolded before our eyes. The Border Police had arrived in great numbers, they’d come to arrest someone to be deported. The crowds gathered instantly, some shouting abuse at the police, others just standing around watching, as they forcefully bundled someone into their big police van to take them away. It really was over-the-top¬†policing, all those officers to remove one individual.

A few months ago I watched a Nature programme on TV about Killer Giant Hornets: They invade wasps nests and bees nests and killed every single one of the wasps or bees and steal all their honey. However, when people wander inadvertently too close they too come under attack. ¬†That’s what happened to Israel when they stirred up God’s wrath and anger; He sent an overwhelming power to destroy their Temple and deport them to Babylon. After watching those hornets there’s no way I’d go near one of their nests.

My friends, that’s what God’s wrath is like too: He didn’t send just another little army to deport Israel, He stirred up an whole Empire and they came if huge force, overwhelming force, to take away the rebellious Nation of Israel into captivity. There was no way they’d be able to withstand an attack from this Empire. In addition to the DEPORTATION the Babylonian Empire also came to DESTROY the great Temple that King Solomon had built for God.

When we get angry, someone can step in to the situation and bring peace. However, when God gets angry and His righteous fury is aroused, then there’s NOTHING on Earth that can stop Him.

Jonah: When God wanted Jonah to go to¬†Nineveh, initially Jonah didn’t want to go and ran away, however, God brought Jonah to his knees and he eventually took God’s message to¬†Nineveh. It took a¬†storm, being thrown overboard and a big fish to swallow Jonah, but he reluctantly and finally repented inside that huge fish, and eventually did what God wanted from the beginning, to go to Nineveh.

Questions:

  • Have you ever wondered why Jonah was so reluctant to do what God wanted him to do?
  • Have you ever wondered why the Nation of Israel found it so difficult to obey God’s Commands?
  • Have you ever wondered why you always seem to fall into sin so easily?
  • After all it seems like a no-brainer that walking with God is much better for us, but human beings always think they know what’s best don’t they?

Well, this verse tells us what can happen to us if we choose to stir up the hornet’s nest of God’s wrath. When we ignore His warnings, when we refuse to listen to our Conscience.

This verse is part of the answer the Jews gave to their enemies when they were rebuilding the Temple after coming back to the Promised Land after the long years of captivity and exile.

The verse tells why the Temple needed rebuilding: It had been DESTROYED. It speaks of the provoking of God to anger, and the resultant punishment brought upon themselves by God.

Provoking God To Anger: Ezra 5:12 “But because our fathers angered the God of heaven”

This verse tells us when the provoking occurred and what the provoking did.

First, when it occurred. “After that.” The context says this provoking occurred after the first Temple was built by Solomon. After a great work was done for God, the people provoked God by their disobedience.

My friends, we must be very careful after accomplishing some great work, some good work for God, that we don’t let down our guard. Solomon was so full of wisdom and dedicated, but afterwards, he let down his spiritual guard and fell into temptation. He’d done something so amazing and marvellous, it became a wonder of the world and many people travelled thousands of miles just to see his awesome Temple of God. However his dedication and devotion turned to PRIDE and the great wise king fell into sin. Sadly it wasn’t only Solomon, the whole Nation of Israel was rotten from the Head to the Toe: They’d turned away from God. It is often after a time of great success for God, that Satan attacks and causes us to go astray.

Second, what the REBELLION did. “Provoked the God of heaven unto wrath.”

What this provocation did was stir up the wrath of God. Like the hornet’s nest, like the OTT Border Security. Sin stirs-up the wrath of God. If there is anything you want to avoid in life, it is the wrath of God.

My friends, we all love warm and fuzzy messages about the LOVE of God don’t we? We like to hear about the GRACE of God, the MERCY of God. We’re amazed at the Miracles of God, We’re encouraged by the wisdom of God and the Power of God, but we also need to hear some of the TRUTH about the WRATH of God. Sin stirs-up the Righteous ANGER and wrath of God.¬†Our sin provokes the wrath of God, and nothing is more dangerous for your soul.

Finally, The Punishing by God.

Ezra 5:12 “… he handed them over to Nebuchadnezzar the Chaldean, king of Babylon, who destroyed this temple and deported the people to Babylon.”

Another translation puts it like this “Nebuchadnezzar carried the people away into Babylon.”

The punishment was twofold: It involved destruction and deportation.

First, The Destruction. “Destroyed this house.” The great Temple which Solomon had built was destroyed. Israel forsook worship at the Temple, and so God destroyed it. If we are not good at looking after our Spiritual Achievements or of God’s wonderful Spiritual privileges, we will lose them. They will be as if they had not been.

Second, the Deportation. “Deported the people to Babylon.” Israel was removed from the Promised Land. When they rejected God, He no longer protected them from their enemies, they came and deported the people to a place far away from the Promised Land. Most of them, never to return.

I think that when we get to Heaven we’re going to be totally shocked by just HOW the LORD has been protecting us from evil all our lives. How He’s watching over us, How He’s keeping Satan away from our house, home, family, friends, fellowship and life. However, when we choose to walk away from God, on purpose, we’re opening up the doorway to Satan. It’s like we’re giving him permission to do whatever he wants with all that we hold most dear to us. Don’t give the devil a foothold into your life today. However, there’s something worse than Satan or the Devil. My friends, you DON’T WANT to stir-up the wrath and anger of God or he just might remove that protective barrier and allow something terrible to happen, just to bring us back to our senses and to allow us to see that walking with Him is much better than walking our own way.

Heed the warning in the history of Israel: See what happens when God’s chosen people refuse to repent.

Heed the warnings given in the New Testament to Believers and Followers of Jesus: Hebrews 5:11-6:12.

Times have not changed; this is still true. Our own nation, the UK was once a great world power, we took the Word of God to the Nations of the world at one time, but now God has turned things on their heads, and the peoples of the world are coming back to the UK, they have come to EVANGELISE Great Britain, to bring the Word of God back, because we’ve rejected God as a Nation. Thankfully He’s not destroyed us yet or banished us into captivity. However, we are living like there is no God, like sin¬†doesn’t¬†matter. Everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes again.

My friends, we do need to heed God’s warnings.

As far as you are concerned, follower of Jesus Christ, don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s wrath and anger with your sinful choices. See sin how God sees it and hate it as much as He does.¬†Repent and turn again to God. Do the things you once did when you first came to know and follow Jesus Christ.

PEACE CAN BE RESTORED:

Just last night we were standing outside KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) sharing the good news of Jesus with a couple. A man came out and immediately began to shout abuse at the couple.¬†Apparently¬†they had purposefully leaned up against his car. He was really angry, I mean, really angry. It’s strange how quickly ANGER¬†gets¬†stirred-up in a person. He began to racially abuse the man; the car¬†owner¬†was Jamaican and the man we were talking with was African. He said, “You African, you boy, you are ignorant”… with a few more unrepeatable words. Richard, who’d come out with us for the first time since doing the Alpha Course, was brilliant, he just stepped in the middle of the two of them, peace guys, peace. He offered the car owner ¬£1,000,000. He initially said, “I don’t want your money”… Then after a few moments said, “What is that?”… He jumped into his car, but before he did, I grabbed hold of his hand and said, “Jesus is LORD, we are Christians, Here’s a little Coin with the Ten Commandments, Jesus sees hatred as murder”. Richard, said, “Forgiveness is for everyone”… He smiled and said, “I know, I know”.

Jesus said, “Stop sinning or something worse might happen to you”…

John 5:14 (ESV)¬†¬†Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‚ÄúSee, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.‚ÄĚ

It’s amazing HOW PEACE can be RESTORED.

But don’t leave it too long: God is patient, but…

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the whole world. He did so to bring PEACE between mankind and God. So that we can avoid His wrath and anger against sin. But the whole world, in order to benefit from God’s own sacrifice, needs to come to it’s knees as Jonah did. Jonah was forced to his knees before he eventually went to¬†Nineveh, Israel was forced into exile, but by then it was too late to repent, let’s do it without the need for God to force us to our knees. Choose today to come back to the LORD and let go of sin in your life. Don’t stir up the Hornet’s Nest of God’s Wrath and Anger. You don’t want His Heavenly Border Security Force to cast you into the Lake of Fire…

Jesus has delivered every Christian from sin, He set us free, so that we can now live a life that’s pleasing to God. But, we must continue to walk with Jesus every day. “Take up your Cross daily and follow me” We all need to walk with Jesus and be full of the Holy Spirit and keep our eyes on Him every day in order to know how to avoid sin in our own lives. As we do so, He will transform our minds, renew our thinking and enable us to experience His JOY in our hearts. (Romans 12).

Christian brothers and sisters, we all need to heed this frightening warning today. God hates sin it makes Him so angry. We¬†tolerate¬†sin, but it¬†stirs¬†our¬†God to Wrath and Anger. We all know people, who were once great followers of Jesus who’s lives lie in ruins now because of their sinful choices.

  • Sin Brings: Destruction.
  • Sin Brings: Banishment.
  • BUT:¬†Repentance: Brings PEACE.

To BE A FOLLOWER of Jesus Today: Believe in The Lord Jesus, Repent of your sin, Receive Him as your LORD, Be Baptised and Be filled with His Holy Spirit and Follow His ways.

I don’t want the LORD to send an mighty Empire against our Nation.

I don’t want anyone I know to experience the wrath and anger of God.

I want everyone to come back to Jesus now.

I’m also praying that when we’ve been successful, when we’ve done great things for God, we’ll not get proud and conceited and be tempted to fall away and fall into sin, pride, folly, and ignite the anger or wrath of God.¬†Amen!

It’s half-term, I hope you are all enjoying the holiday week.

Stay close to Jesus. Be filled afresh with His Spirit. Walk in PEACE.

Don.

P.S. Tonight there’s a wonderful Presentation of “Oh Happy Day”…

A vision to share the LOVE and JOY of being a follower of Jesus.

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London.¬†7.30pm.

 

After Pentecost What’s Next?

After the Pentecost Prayer Week, National Evangelisation, Power to SAVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: After Pentecost: The Power to SAVE Souls.

WOWzer! WOWzer! What an awesome Pentecostal Open Air Baptism Service we had.

IMG_1488 IMG_1490 IMG_1491 IMG_1494

Good morning my friends, it really was awesome. I got up early yesterday so that I could both write and get the Baptism pool ready. I wanted to encourage you before I went out. Oh my friends, I feel so blessed by the Lord. You know, we’ve got an AWESOME family of brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone came together yesterday to make it so special for those taking steps of commitment to Jesus. Thanks so much to David, John and Ben who got up very early and came to help me sweep, clean and build the baptismal pool. It was a sacrifice of pillow time ūüôā Thanks Amanda, who’d prepared song sheets and Bible notices in advance. Thanks to Robert, Celestin, Isaac and the worship team, even Abi and Rebecca joined in…. every one of you are AMAZING. But you all know who I’m most thankful for: The LORD Jesus Christ, He was with us. It was a costly service for us all in terms of time, talents and treasures, but even more so for Him.

Because before PENTECOST, there was a cost: Someone had to die before we could experience heaven in our hearts.

Jesus died upon the Cross for us.

He didn’t stay dead though, Jesus rose again back to life from the dead. He’s alive NOW! Enthroned in Heaven, but you can receive Him into your life today.

He sends the Holy Spirit upon everyone who believes that His death was for their sins, who repents of their sinful rebellion against God and turns in faith towards Jesus Christ to receive Him as Lord, then in faith and obedience gets baptised into the Name of; Father Son and Holy Spirit, to become a Follower of Jesus, a Disciple who seeks to live from that day forward in obedience to Jesus’ Commands and Teachings.

Did you know that Peter explained all this to the Jews and converts to Judaism gathered in Jerusalem that day: He told them HOW TO BE SAVED from their own corrupt generation.

Acts 2:36-41 (NIV)
36 ¬†“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37 ¬†When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?
38 ¬†Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.¬†39 ¬†The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off‚ÄĒfor all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 ¬†With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

On that first Day of Pentecost, when ¬†the Holy Spirit fell on all the Followers of Jesus, it was Peter who stood up and preached. What Peter said to them broke their hearts and they were convicted and pleaded with Peter and the other Apostles to tell them what they should do next, how they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger because they had killed the Messiah. Peter explained, and told them how to be saved: they had to repent of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ. They would give proof of the sincerity of their repentance and faith by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, publicly doing so identified them with their Messiah and Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. That baptism would signal that their trust in Jesus death was for their sins, their sins would we washed away.

My friends, it was on the first Day of Pentecost that a person could be saved ONLY by repenting and believing on Jesus Christ. Only then could they too receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for themselves (Gal. 3:2, 14), and this promise was for both the Jews and the “far off” Gentiles (Eph. 2:13-19). For ALL whom the Lord our God will call. He’s calling ALL Peoples, all over the Earth to have faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He’s pulling men to Himself through the Holy Spirit, even before you go out and witness to them. Do you believe that’s the Father’s Heart?

The Promise of the Holy Spirit is FOR ALL:

You, your children, your family, your friends, everybody who knows you: Your OIKOS.

My wife’s getting tired of me going on about OIKOS. She said, “If I hear it once more I’ll OIKOS you”… LOL.

But that’s the Father’s HEART: To save your complete family and bring in the whole company of those who know you follow Jesus, He wants to SAVE Them ALL.

Do you believe it’s the Father’s HEART: To SAVE everyone who knows you are a follower of Jesus? Everyone, you love, your Father in Heaven loves even more than you.

So What’s NEXT?

We’ve finished our Week of Prayer: But please DO NOT STOP praying for all those who’ve yet to trust in Jesus.

Keep praying for your OIKOS List; until they are ALL SAVED. God wants to SAVE your friends and family.

Who’s ON Your OIKOS List?

  • List them again by name before Jesus.
  • Think about their lives: What’s going on with them? What’s their problems? What’s their heart-desires? What’s their deepest need? And talk to the LORD for them.
  • Next: Do something LOVING for your OIKOS: give them a gift, do a good thing they are not expecting, show them Jesus’ LOVE is in your heart.
  • Next: Purposefully bring up something about Jesus, don’t ASK their permission, just share something. Even if they’ve rejected it before, do it again. Shown them that you are NOT going to give up on them, even if they’ve given up on God.
  • Finally: Remember, it’s their ETERNAL wealfare that you are most concerned about, their DESTINY is not looking good if they don’t trust Jesus. Get a handle on Hell and that will motivate you to endure rejection. Remember, anyone who’s not trusted in Jesus yet is BLIND and DEAF, they don’t know what they are rejecting, they can’t hear yet, because Satan has both blinded their eyes and deadened their ears. However, Holy Spirit POWER can break through into their darkness and let them see the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Keep going back for more: You didn’t put your faith in Jesus the first time you heard the Gospel, so give them LOTS of opportunity. Even if they reject it three or four times before they come to faith. Share a little bit more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be drawing them to faith and trust in Jesus.
  • PRAY: For yourself that you’ll STAY FULL of Pentecostal Power to reach out and SAVE others for Jesus. You need the Holy Spirit every day, you need Jesus presence and power in you, so ask Father God to fill you afresh every day in order that you can live in His will to save others.

Be blessed my friends, and live every day in Pentecostal Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus is with you always. Entreat your Heavenly Father for your friends, family and followers. Be obedient to Jesus commands and tell them HOW to be SAVED in this, their own, corrupt generation.

Don.

P.S. Pray for me, I’m shattered now ūüôā But I want to keep going for Jesus.

I’m also praying for everyone on my own OIKOS.

P.P. S. SEE more of the Baptism pictures here at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page. I’ll be posting some more awesome shots that my wife Julie took as well.

 

 

Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

TRUE REPENTANCE: Not Just Saying “Sorry” to God.

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

True Repentance Is A Requirement For: Salvation from,  Forgiveness for and Cleansing From Sin.

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.

It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for ¬£1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.

Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.

What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…

I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.

I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…

I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.

The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”

So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”

Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”

One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”

I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.

One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”

What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….

  • They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
  • They wanted to know more about church,
  • They wanted to wait until they were ready,
  • They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
  • They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,

It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read… ¬† I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and¬†receive¬†Him as your King”

Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.

But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street¬†and shared about Jesus,¬†and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.

I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.

We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.

Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.

Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.

These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles‚Äô mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.

If ‚Äúrepentance‚ÄĚ was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.

Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, ‚ÄúRepentance is a grace of God‚Äôs Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed‚ÄĚ [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).

The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a ‚Äúworldly grief‚ÄĚ; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).

The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:

  • Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
  • Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
  • Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
  • Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it ‚Äúthe expeller of vice.‚ÄĚ
  • Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
  • Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
  • Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).

The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True¬†Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, ‚ÄúO my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens‚ÄĚ (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God‚Äôs eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.

The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.

Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.

Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord ‚Äúwith all your heart‚ÄĚ (Joel 2:12).¬†This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, ‚Äúperforming deeds in keeping with their repentance‚ÄĚ (Acts 26:20).¬†Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: ‚ÄúRepent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations‚ÄĚ (Ezek 14:6).

We are called to turn away from all our abominations‚ÄĒnot just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning ‚Äúof repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus‚ÄĚ (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God‚Äôs loving-kindness, which leads to joy: ‚ÄúGod‚Äôs kindness is intended to lead you to repentance‚ÄĚ (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us‚ÄĒall that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.

Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
  • What’s wrong with preaching repentance?

Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).

The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.

PRAYER: ‚ÄúLord, ¬†I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

When Temptation Rears It’s Ugly Head.

flee temptation, run away,

Daily Spirit & Word: 721: When we give in to temptation.

What we’re saying to ourselves is; “Evil, be thou my good.” From Paradise Lost, book 4. Line 110.

Good morning my friends, what a dread-filled statement it is above; “Evil, be thou my good” yet the reality is that when we’re turning from the light towards the darkness, it’s like we are declaring to ourselves, “Evil, be thou my good”… Imagine the turmoil Judas must have been in at that last supper. He was with Jesus, with the other Disciples, eating, drinking, chatting away, but then the LORD brings the DARKNESS within Judas into the LIGHT.

John 13:18-30 (NIV)
18¬†“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfil the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’
19 ¬†“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.
20 ¬†I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21 ¬†After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
22  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.
23  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
24 ¬†Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 ¬†Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 ¬†Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
27 ¬†As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
28  but no-one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.
29  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.
30  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Temptation is what Judas caved into when he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, the desire for other things, things other than the LORD Himself.

However, think about Judas and we’ll not have to look long to see ourselves. He must have followed a downward spiral, one temptation given into, then another, then another. The Bible records that Judas was a thief, he was the trusted treasurer, but he helped himself to the money given for the Lord.

JUDAS WEAKNESS:

Judas was a thief. He was in charge of the group’s money bag and sometimes stole from it. He was disloyal. Even though the other apostles deserted Jesus and Peter denied him, the degree of Judas’ betrayal was much worse, because he lead the soldiers to Jesus, then identified Jesus by kissing him. Imagine, the lips that praised the LORD, the hands that served the LORD, they are now employed in cruel betrayal. It was the LOVE of MONEY that was a root of evil within Judas.

Think how it’s possible to be close to Jesus Christ and yet in your heart be far away from Him.

  • What ‘things’ have gotten such a hold on you?
  • What ‘things’ have more light than the divine light of Christ?
  • What ‘things’ are more appealing than Jesus?
  • What ‘things’ are offering you more; satisfaction, gratification, payment or pleasure?

My friends, Christ has more, offers more, gives more, satisfies more than anything else in all creation.

Once there was a group of teenagers who started heckling us when out preaching the Gospel in St Budeaux Square in Plymouth. One, a very big chappie, with dark sunglasses on his face, walkman-headphones on his head, shouted, “I take drugs over Jesus any day”… Funny, I’ve never forgotten those words uttered over 27 years ago. “I’ll take drugs over Jesus any day”… He was obviously still in the darkness or he would never had said that. But would he? Judas was with Jesus when He performed miracles. Judas witnessed Jesus healing, blessing, teaching… Is it possible to be so close to Jesus and yet be a devil?

John 6:67-71 (NIV)
67 ¬†“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 ¬†Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69 ¬†We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70 ¬†Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”
71  (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE ME TOO: DO YOU?

What a Question to ask! Would we ever choose to leave Jesus?¬†How can we leave Jesus? Well, it begins with just a thought, “One bite won’t hurt”… “One little taste” … “Just once”… “Only for a little while” You can almost hear Satan¬†whispering¬†in your ears, “God didn’t mean you”.

No wonder the Scriptures, God’s Word, scream out to us: “Take CAPTIVE every thought”… “Take captive EVERY thought” “Take captive every THOUGHT”… 2 Corinthians 10:5.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE:

Judas fulfilled Scripture prophesy, that one would betray the Christ, but Judas, like us, was FREE to choose, he choose foolishly, yet without a Judas, Jesus would have been alive, we’d all still be in our sins, and we’d have to face an SIN angry God on Judgement day. Why is God ANGRY: Because God hates sin. So Judas was a part of God’s plan of Salvation. However, though Jesus knew all about Judas, though it must have grieved him, though it obviously hurt him, He allowed Judas the freedom to choose. Amazing to think; so close to Jesus Christ yet so far away.

The hand that dipped the bread and handed it to Judas would soon be pierced with nails.

That’s the PAIN we cause the Christ when we give in to temptation.

It’s like we’re saying “Evil, be thou my good”… We’re choosing something God has forbidden. We’re choosing DARKNESS rather than Walking in the LIGHT.

YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION

I love the old blues hymn sung by Al Green¬†“Yield not to temptation”. To be honest, I’ve sang that song so many times when temptation has reared it’s ugly head.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain:
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,
Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Saviour, our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

When faced with TEMPTATION: Run Away: Escape.

2 Timothy 2:19-26 (NIV)
19 ¬†Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.
21  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22  Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue (RUN AFTER) righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 ¬†Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24 ¬†And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
25  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Look to Jesus Christ. Fix your eyes on Jesus. “Flee the evil desires”

i.e. LOOK AWAY.

Run away, flee, fly, scarper, take to one’s heels, cut and run, escape, leg it, hightail it, head for the hills, avoid, shun, don’t look, think about Jesus, a favourite hymn, open the bible, call a Christian friend, get a brother or sister to pray for you, be honest, be open, don’t give the devil a foothold.

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS… 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Moses and all the others), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Conclusion:

Say out loud “Jesus, be my good” … “Jesus, be my God” … “Jesus IS my God in whom I will trust”…

Think about the Sacrifice: His hands that touched in healing, giving bread, giving life to a dead girl, sight to a blind man, now pierced by nails.

Think about the LOVE of God: “For God so loved the world (YOU), that He gave His ONE and ONLY Son to die upon a Cross, so that you could be forgiven, cleansed, renewed, filled with the Holy Spirit, given the gift of eternal life, filled with God’s love,¬†empowered¬†by Holy Spirit, gifted to serve, anointed and blessed with the powerful presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised, “I’m with you, even to the end of the age”… Jesus is with you right now, turn to Him, who is the LIGHT, shun the DARKNESS and it will flee away.

I am confident that you will overcome every temptation. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Commit it to your memory banks).

Have an Awesome Saturday.

Don.

LIKE & FOLLOW ON Facebook: St Luke’s Church Facebook.

Click here to take you to Don’s Facebook PAGE…

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

God doesn't believe in Athiests, Eternity in your heart, life after death,

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

Why did God send a flood to destroy all human beings on the Earth?

“If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.” Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been thinking. Tonight we’re going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets and one of the most common beliefs today is; “This life is all there is”… You know something, I think good old Fyodor has a point. Many people today will proudly proclaim, “I don’t believe in life after death or Heaven or Hell”… They think this life is all there is, there’s nothing after death, you just cease to exist.

However, we can quite clearly see that those who do believe such things, get depressed, commit¬†suicide, have no hope and give up on life. Why? Because if there is no afterlife, then there’s no real point to continuing your existence upon this earth. Love and life itself is just some kind of illusion.

Thankfully it is quite easy to correct this false and foolish thinking.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NIV)
9  What does the worker gain from his toil?
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13 ¬†That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil‚ÄĒthis is the gift of God.

God “has set eternity in the hearts of men”: That means everyone knows deep-down in the core of their being that this life is not all there is. We may deny this eternal truth, we may pretend, we may protest, we can argue, but the fact remains that God has Created mankind with a deep knowledge that ETERNITY, life after death, the soul goes on forever.

However, there are good reasons for denying the immortality of the soul. Because if we don’t believe in afterlife then we can just live as we please now, there’s no one or nothing to whom we must give an account of the way we live, and that’s what we’re seeing in the world today. If there is no afterlife, then this life is all that counts and you’ve got to enjoy it as much as possible. People call this kind of thinking “Enlightened” or “The enlightenment”, but in reality is a darkening, a drawing deeper and deeper into the deepest darkness. Without God there is only darkness and oblivion. When people do what they want, they’ll throw off all moral restraints. Not only that, but they want and expect everybody else to do the same as well.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

My friends, this kind of thinking is not new or enlightened: People have been doing this since the time of Creation, but when they did, they brought swift judgement from Heaven upon their heads. This kind of thinking and way of living is what brought the first flood upon the Earth.

Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)
5 ¬†The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.¬†6 ¬†The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Genesis 6:5-8 (NJB)
5  Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.
6  Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.
7 ¬†And Yahweh said, ‚ÄėI shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created‚ÄĒhuman and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven‚ÄĒfor I regret having made them.’
8 ¬†But Noah won Yahweh’s favour.

God’s heart was “filled with pain”, He was¬†“grieved at heart”. It hurts God’s feelings when those He created deny Him or their high calling. When we live like we want and pretend there’s no one to whom we must give an account. That’s why the Lord brought the flood upon the Earth and it’s why He’s going to eventually destroy His Creation and start all over again (one day).

You see my friends, God does not believe in Atheists, He knows they are simply living in denial.

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

  • 1) The quality or state of being immortal.
  • 2) Perpetual life after death.

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

You were made to last forever.
But like those batteries that eventually loose their power, so we too will one day, run out of life. But that’s not the END, your eternal soul will live on and on for all eternity. If you were to die tonight, where would you be spending that Eternity?

Though mankind is not now immortal, because of Adam and Eve’s decision to disobey God’s Command, we’re all infected with the same sin disease and cannot live forever, which was God’s original intent for human beings. However, there is part of our human nature that will live forever and that is our Soul, it goes on beyond the grave. Though our flesh and bones will die and decay, the soul is the part of us that lives forever.

We need to make everyone aware of the fact that they are going to have to face God after they die.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV)¬†“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face¬†judgement, …”

“After That” i.e. After death, we come face-to-face with the Living God.¬†He’s going to bring out our records: What we’ve done and what we’ve thought and Judge us.

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1  O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5 ¬†You hem me in‚ÄĒbehind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 ¬†If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
13 ¬†For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there were areas in Cities all over the UK you could go and watch them as they happened on BIG Screens. In shopping areas and town squares town Councils had erected huge screens. Imagine having your life showing on a screen like that for everyone to see. But what could be worse than that?¬†Can you imagine what it would be like to have your thought-life on display for everyone to see, right now? Embarrassing or what? Your thoughts about people on display for everyone to know what you’ve been thinking about them. Well one day it will be, unless you repent and have your records washed / erased away.

When you repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: All your sins are washed away. You are given a brand new start in life. This is why it’s so good to come to Jesus. You can actually feel clean on the inside when Jesus washes your sins away. It’s as if you’ve never sinned. But from the moment you are washed clean, Jesus wants you to live a New Life in His Spirit. A holy life is possible when you come to Jesus every day and received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We need Jesus every day.

Praise the Lord for the Eternity He’s planted within your heart.

When we compare our life to eternity we can see why the Lord has given us His Word: The Word “BIBLE” = Basic, Instruction, Before, Leaving, Earth… There is life after death, but what kind of life can we expect? With Jesus as our Lord NOW, we’re promised wonders we couldn’t even dream about.

I’ll finish off¬†today with one of the most wonderful promises in God’s Word:

¬†“However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

P.S. If you are free tonight and around West Norwood in London, you are welcome to come and join us as we go out to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. We’re meeting at 5.00pm at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. If you can’t come, please commit to praying for us and for those whom we meet, that they’ll come to know Jesus as Lord. Amen!

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

ETERNITY

Why Did Jesus Die On The Cross?

Sharing the Good News with Graham on Good Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 711: Why Did Jesus Need To Die?

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free”

He came to set us free from sin, self, Satan, God’s wrath and the Judgement to come.
Without Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross, we’d still be; in our sins, rulled by self, slaves to Satan and sin, objects of God’s wrath and anger against sin and ripe for His Holy Judgement to come.

If we submit to Christ as Lord and turn from sin and experience His Salvation: Then we’ll escape and be set completely free.

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Enslaved: Yesterday, before we set out on the Good Friday Walk of Witness, I arrived early at church to pick up the crosses we carry and was waiting for David and John who’d agreed to carry them. As I waited there was a man who’d arrived to get some food at the Foodbank. He was a regular visitor, but I’d never shared the Gospel with him before. We’d been chatting about lots of normal stuff, the weather, the sunshine, winter and Springtime being his favourite time of the year. I asked him if he knew what day it was. He looked puzzled and said, “It’s Friday?” I said, “Yes but what Friday?” He said, “Foodbank Friday”… We both laughed our loud. I asked, “Graham, were you aware that today is one of the most holy days in the Christian year? It’s called Good Friday, do you know why?” He answered, “Oh yes, that’s when Jesus died on the Cross”…
“Do you know why Jesus died Graham?” I asked. He said, “I don’t know, it was a cruel thing to do, because I know that Jesus was a good man”…
I said, “Jesus died for you and me Graham, He took our place on the Cross, but do you know why?” He said, “I don’t know why Jesus would die for me”…
Then I took Graham through God’s Commandments one by one, it was at that point in our conversation that David arrived. Then we both continued to witness to Graham. I think I was on the 3rd Commandment by that stage. “Blasphemy: Taking the Lord’s Holy Name and using it as a swear word: Saying OMG or Jesus in a conversation when you are not praying to Him, but using it instead of a swear word”

Do you know what Graham said?, “I’d never do that, I’d never Blaspheme Jesus or God”… He was blissfully unaware that he’d been doing it from the moment that I met him and began talking with him. So I gently pointed it out to him and he was genuinely shocked. He said, “So I’ve been blaspheming when I say Jesus Christ or Jesus H Christ or Jesus?” I said, “Yes Graham, it’s using God’s Name in an unholy way”…

You know some people, trying to be nice, think that saying “Jesus Christ” or “Jesus” is better than saying F—k or Sh-t… it’s less offensive and you can get away with it, but it’s taking the Holy Name of God and using it as a swear word. It’s taking the God who gave you life and bringing Him down to an disgusting level of a dirty swear word. That’s why it’s Blasphemy. You know that Commandment? Exodus 20:7 (NIV) “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. “

David and I led Graham to an awareness of his need for Jesus Christ¬†on Good Friday. We encouraged him to turn from his sin in repentance, letting go of sin and¬†trusting in Jesus,¬†and be saved from God’s wrath to come. To trust in Jesus and His love, when He gave His life upon the Cross, taking our place and dying for us. Graham thanks us for showing him why Jesus needed to die upon the Cross. Yesterday was a Good Friday for Graham.

We then picked up the Crosses and walked to Tulse Hill to meet everyone for the walk of witness. It brought fresh meaning to Jesus statement and command, “Take up your Cross daily and follow Me”…

Have an AWESOME Easter Weekend.
Note: Graham was enslaved by sin and he didn’t even realise it. There are so many, countless thousands, who are unaware of their need of Jesus Christ. They are trapped in all kinds of sin and wickedness that offends a Holy and Righteous God, they are storing up His wrath for the Day of Judgement. They don’t know why Jesus needed to die upon the Cross, but it was for our FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Jesus wants to set people free today. So let’s be prepared at all times to share the Greatest News they are ever likely to hear, they’ll thank you when they meet you¬†in Heaven.

Praise the LORD for Gospel conversations.

Praise the LORD for Good Friday

What a walk of witness too, so many came from all over West Norwood, Dulwhich and¬†Tulse Hill. I’m praying now that next year we’ll have to close off the road because of the multitude of souls walking for Jesus. Amen!
Don.

Demon Possession and Doorways of Danger

Mark 5 Demon Possession and The Doorways of Danger

Daily Spirit & Word: 705:

The Demon Possessed Man.

And

The Doorways of Danger.

Good morning my friends, this is part of the Sermon I preached yesterday in St Luke’s Church.

I began by asking everyone present: “Put your hand up if you believe in God”. Almost everyone did. I said, “Put your hands down, now put your hand up if you don’t believe in God” Only a couple of people did.

Then I asked, “Put your hand up if you believe in the Devil, Demons or Demonic” most people did. Then I asked “Put you hand up if you definitely don’t believe in Satan or Demons”, and quite a few hands were raised.

What do you believe about Satan? Is he a real person? The Bible assumes that you’ll believe he’s real.

Mark 5:1-20 (NIV)
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.
2  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3  This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
4  For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him.
5  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6  When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7 ¬†He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”
8 ¬†For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
9 ¬†Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”
10  And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
12 ¬†The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”
13  He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
15  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
16 ¬†Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man‚ÄĒand told about the pigs as well.
17  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19 ¬†Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

‚ÄėThe Demons who Possessed a Man‚Äô

&

The Doorways of Danger.

Introduction:

Good morning everyone, we’re back with Mark Chapter 5 today. As we’ve been going through Mark’s Gospel, we’ve observed Jesus Power and Authority: over nature: Stilling a Storm. Over Sickness: Healing people of all kinds of diseases. We’ve observed that Jesus had supernatural knowledge: He even knew what people were thinking. ¬†Today, we’ll observe that Jesus also has Power and Authority over “The Supernatural Forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms”…

Demons Are Real: Satan is a Real Person with an Army of Demons (Fallen Angels).

MISTAKE: Sometimes people make the mistake of believing they are equal in Power: A bit like ying-and-yang: They balance each other out. Not so, God is not equal with anyone or anything. Jesus was God on Earth, this is most fully demonstrated in this account in Mark’s Gospel today: Because Jesus could COMMAND the Demonic forces (there were at least 2000 pigs that were killed that day). No wonder that man’s condition was so severe.

Demon possession was a common theme in the Bible and Jesus and others were casting out the demons.

From this account we learn some valuable things about Satan, Demons and the power and authority of Jesus Christ.

 1) You discover that demon possession is possible.

We live in sceptical times, and many people try to explain away the Bible’s ‚Äėspiritual‚Äô and ‘Supernatural’ elements: Miracles, Holy Spirit, Gifts and Angels, Devils and Demons. (Because they are unscientific and can’t be proven by¬†empirical¬†evidence).

People are much more sceptical about Satan, Demons than they are about: Life after death (nobody wants to die, and we all want assurance that there is more after death). Near Death Experiences: Angels and Miracles. Why? The first step to not believing the Bible is to say in your heart, ‚ÄúThis cannot be true‚ÄĚ. I’ve done that myself… I found it very difficult to believe many things in the Bible, even after coming to faith in Jesus. They are just so fantastical, so amazing, so weird. But after 32 years of being a follower of Jesus, a Christian, I’m more convinced today than I was at the start, that you can TRUST God’s Word 100%…. Demons, Devils, Satan and Demon¬†Possession¬†are real.

Are You Sceptical About Supernatural?

We have in the Bible many clear accounts of demons being cast out of people. If it were just one incidence, then I think we could be forgiven for thinking that they may have mistaken some kinds of sickness for fanciful thinking that a demon had entered a man. But, even the writers of the Bible, 2000 years ago distinguished between epilepsy (dropsy) and demon possession. Jesus differentiated between sickness, disease and demon possession.

Men try to explain away the supernatural phenomena in the Bible in many ways:

  • Jesus walking on water (Scientifically Impossible) = Therefore, there must have been Sandbank below the surface.
  • Red sea parting = it must have been a shallow estuary (an earthquake probably caused the sea to recede, just before a tsunami hit the Egyptians).
  • Dead people being brought back to life = they were not really dead, but in those days they didn‚Äôt have the equipment to detect life.

One thing it’s hard for people to explain away in this account is that the demons who were driven out of the man, then entered into the pigs and 2000 pigs that ran down a hill and killed themselves. Why at the moment of Jesus casting out a demons did the pigs do that?

For this man: It couldn‚Äôt have been; epilepsy, frenzy or madness. Because you cannot pass these ailments onto pigs (not 2000 of them). This man was possessed by what the Bible describes as a legion of demons, because they were many. (A Roman Legion had between 4000 and 6000 men: But note that the Bible didn’t¬†exaggerate¬†the number of pigs, just 2000 of them).

However, though we know Satan, The Devil and Demons are real, we can’t see them, so we don’t know a lot about them.

2) Just because you don’t understand everything about demons and the devil, don’t be disbelieving.

We’ve Mistaken Many Things in History:

There were some who believed you’d fall off the edge of the world if you strayed too close to the edge. Christopher Columbus New World Discovered… Put an end to that… However, if people had been reading their Bible properly, they’d have known that the World wasn’t flat at all, but Spherical:

Isaiah 40:21-22 (NIV)¬† Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 ¬†He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (The Earth’s free float in Space was only discovered last Century by Albert Einstein.)

God’s Word, The Bible states: The Universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the Biblical view that the universe had a beginning. The Universe is expanding. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal and in a fixed state. This was Albert Einstein’s view and theory until he observed space through a new powerful telescope, he had to re-write his theory. Only in the last 100 years has Science proven they were all wrong, but that the Bible was correct all along. Science calls it the Big Bang, the Bible tells us God Spoke and Light came into the Darkness. God spoke and matter formed. Scientific discover just goes to prove the Supernatural Inspiration of God’s Word and the fact that for thousands of years man had been mistaken.

Historically:

  • – There were people who believed that the human body would disintegrate if it went into space: It didn‚Äôt.
  • – There were people who believed that steam engines were terrible, and people would die if they went on them, they reasoned that the human body wasn’t designed to travel a super-speeds of 30 miles an hour.
  • – You cannot see electricity, but you believe in it.

My friends, you can travel to the ends of the earth, go into space, ride on a train and you will get an electric shock if you stick your fingers into a socket; AND you can get possessed by demons. Let’s not make the mistakes in the Spiritual Realm that we’ve made in the Earthly and Universal.

 ♥V An African Tribal Chief didn’t believe in Ice until he was brought some by a missionary: He gave his life to Jesus afterwards. It’s just as foolish not believing in devils, just because you have had no direct experience of them.

Since we’ve made too many MISTAKES historically, and held mistaken beliefs about so many things, don’t be mistaken about Demons, the Devil and Demonic: They are REAL, perhaps one day Science will confirm it too, let’s hope they are not too late for humanity.

My friends,¬†Long experience, 34 years, of reading the Bible almost every single day, has shown me that it can be fully trusted and believed. I have been involved in the ministry of casting out demons, and I can tell you they are just as real today as 2000 years ago. I’ve seen their destructive force on men and women, in their families and personal life. They are still out to “Steal, Kill and Destroy” your joy, peace and security. That’s their mission from the Prince of Demons: Satan.

 What are they like? Well the Bible tells us clearly.

From Mark Chapter 5. We can see their intention for everyone they Possess. 

3) Landlords: Many of you have experience of good and bad Landlords. Satan is a horrific Landlord.

You can see in this account of Demon Possession, that demons are painful, powerful, and destructive landlords (owners of the one possessed).

A) Demons Are Painful: The pain and misery they caused that poor man. His life was terrible, he was naked, homeless, friendless, wretched, bleeding, unattended, hurting, crying out in pain, rushing around in the graveyard, places of the dead, restless and cutting his own body with sharp stones. Why would anyone in their right mind behave like this? They wouldn’t, but he not just or simply mad, he’s possessed by Demons that want to destroy him and cause him pain.

Yes demons will do all of that to anyone they possess. They are painful landlords.

¬†Jesus said: John 10:10 ‚ÄėThe thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.¬† 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.‚Äô

♥V The devil and his demons want to destroy & steal God’s Creation, us: We also see that Jesus wants to give us life & renew your life, to give you abundant life. He died to make that life possible.

‚ô•V Hell: When you look at the horrible, horrific condition of the demon possessed man you get a powerful picture of what hell will be like for all who end up there: naked, hurting, cutting self, homeless, torment and in fear, in darkness.

B) Demons Are Powerful: We forget at our peril and danger that Satan has millions of beings subservient to himself. He led 1/3 of heaven in rebellions when he was cast out from God’s presence. He is a Powerful Landlord.

However,¬†he is not as powerful as Jesus, Jesus is God; but we shouldn‚Äôt underestimate his power, authority and nature: He does want to steal, kill and destroy. But he’s no match for Jesus’ Power and Authority or the Authority, Power and New Nature that Jesus gives to everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him.

Satan is the active force in the world systems that one day will produce an anti-Christ who will oppose God openly. A one world government under his power and dominion. It’s obvious that this is the way the world is blindly heading.

In The Satanic Controlled World: Godly things will become illegal the Bible warns us: And it’s happening already here in Great Britain.

OFSTED: Want to inspect every Sunday School: To ensure we’re not radicalising children. That’s good, right? Nobody wants ‘radicalised’ children. However, they also want to ensure we’ve got a balanced Sunday School Curriculum, that we’ll promote and teach British Values. (My friends, British Values are not the same today as Bible Values or Christian Values). E.G. Bombing Syria: Jesus never said, “Bomb your enemies”… He tells us to forgive our enemies, to bless your enemies, do good to those that hate you… He doesn’t tell us to take away State Benefits for the poorest in society and give Tax cuts to the richest people. ¬†No my friends, Jesus tells us to look after widows and orphans, to take care of the weakest members in our society, to LOVE our neighbours. God wants us to welcome aliens and strangers, wanderers in the land. “Don’t be afraid to welcome strangers”… Practice good hospitality. This is God’s way of treating people.

British Values: What British Values are we to teach our children? Only the ‘nice’ ones… I’ve no doubt we’ll soon have an approved Government curriculum that we’ve got to ensure is communicated to Sunday School children. I’m not even going to mention; same-sex-marriage which God clearly teaches is contrary to His will for human beings.

Satan is at work in the¬†Governments¬†of this world today, they a pushing forward Satan’s agenda, to destroy society, community and human beings. How? By advocating and promoting the things that God hates. However, his time is coming, when he along with all his demons and fallen angels will be cast in to the lake of fire. Hell has not been Created yet, but when God is ready Satan’s end is certain. Satan is Powerful and influential, but he’s not as powerful or as influential as God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

C) Demons Are Destructive: Lastly, in looking at what kind of Landlords Demons are, we see from our account in Mark today that the Demonic is Destructive.

They only wanted to kill the man, why or how that poor man survived is beyond our understanding, but perhaps his will was not completely subdued or broken. (He came running to Jesus and fell at his feet). And perhaps he was resisting the evil spirits, that’s why he was screaming and in torment. It might be¬†that‚Äôs why he screamed at night in the tombs.

We can see how destructive those Demons wanted to be with the man, because as soon as they entered into the weak willed PIGS, 2000 of them rushed over a cliff into the lake. You can be certain that is what the Demons wanted to do to the man. Jesus warns us in many places in His Word, that Satan wants to do the very same things with you and me.

Finally Don’t Give The Devil A Foothold:

We don’t know why this man got Demon Possessed. We don’t know what he was playing with before it happened.

But we do know that there are DOORS of DANGER: Places we should avoid, because Satan is a legalist, he’s legalistic, he can only gain entry, like a Landlord with proper notification. He can only come in if we allow him in.

Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
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.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

All of the above are DOORWAYS of DANGER: They can allow or give Satan permission to enter.

Even if we have innocently, naively or foolishly entered into these things. Or of our own wilful disobedience: We need to renounce these unholy and shameful things and seek God‚Äôs forgiveness and cleansing. When we’re playing with sin, we’re cracking open the doorway and giving the Devil a foothold into our lives: These are the Doorways of Danger: Unwholesome talk, anger, slander, lying, stealing, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, rage, greed, sexual sins, sensuality, feeding the fleshly nature, backbiting, coveting what others own, cheating in life, unfaithfulness, disobedience to authorities and parents, etc, etc, etc… We’re experts and finding new ways to rebel against God’s Commandments, but they are all Doorways of Danger. Don’t give the Devil a foothold into your life. Jesus came to set us FREE.

 To summarise: Satan and Demons are real, and they are painful, powerful and destructive. They must not be played with and we must renounce all participation either voluntarily entered into or foolishly deceived.

 The Lord Jesus Christ: Has POWER over the Demonic Forces of Evil: They are not equal in any way. He commanded the Demons and they had to submit to His authority.

He also gave you that same Power and Authority: When you Believed in Jesus Christ, Repented of your sins and Received Him as your Lord and Saviour. Have you really done all that? Believed, Repented, Renounced, Received? Then you are FREE.

John 10:10 Fullness of life, Jesus’ abundant life, are yours. Jesus gives you the same rights as the Son of God. (John 1:12-13).

Jesus’ Perfect FREEDOM:

John 8:31-36 (NIV)
31¬†¬†To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 ¬†Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 ¬†They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They’d been invaded by the Romans, dominated by a foreign power, and they still thought they were free. But Jesus wasn’t talking about Political freedom, but Spiritual freedom).
34 ¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36 ¬†So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Because when Jesus sets you free from sin, you are free from Satan’s bondage to sin, you are free to live as God’s child, that freedom cost Jesus his life, so that we wouldn’t need to loose ours).

Jesus came to SET YOU FREE: Completely FREE from Satan and His Demonic forces.

How to get your FREEDOM BACK: Renounce: Repent: Confess: Receive: Live…

Renounce: Those shameful secret sins. (Pornography is rife in our Society). Anger is festering inside people. Hatred is lying in wait. Jealousy: Bitterness. Rage (Car rage, explosive anger) these are signs that not everyting is OK in our land. Satan is having a ball or a time with the people in our land. Renounce: And BE Set FREE by Jesus Christ.

Repent: Turn away from ALL that your Conscience is telling you is wrong for you. Listen to the voice of your Conscience. You’ll know: That lying, Stealing, lusting, hatred, gossip, slander, back-biting, etc these are ALL Sinful: They may give the Devil a foothold into your life.

1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV)
5 ¬†Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6 ¬†Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
7  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
9  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
11  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

CONFESS: Confess all know sin: This is not too difficult because the Holy Spirit will make you aware of sin in your life. He doesn’t do this to make you feel ashamed, but so that you’ll know what’s separating you from the fullness of life God wants you to have. Be open with God, Confess your sins to Him out loud… Confession is admitting how you’ve sinned against God.

RECEIVE JUSUS: Humble¬†yourselves. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Live your life for Him. (He’s a much better Landlord than Satan) His yoke is easy, His burden is light… (Satan’s is; heavy, hard, unbearable,¬†tortuous,¬†wearisome¬†and deathly).

SATAN: He’s a¬†legalistic, legalist, once you open the door, He’s just waiting to come on in. He’s got YOUR permission. He can’t come in without permission. Don’t open the Door to Satan:¬†If you have or as soon as you become aware of sin in your life: Renounce, Repent, Confess and Receive Jesus forgiveness¬†and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Do it quickly, do it today. Get FREE with Jesus help.

JESUS: God, wants to give you a FRESH START: Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, that He may life you up in His time.

Jesus Christ: Has POWER to Set you COMPLETELY FREE FROM EVIL TODAY:

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”… John 8:36… Notice the “IF”…

There are a few people in the world today who want God to PROVE Himself to them first, but my friends, He’s God. He’s not about to take orders from high-minded human beings that He’s created. He’ll never prove himself to a proud human being. However, a person who sincerely wants to discover if God is real, a humble human being, will find out the truth; That’s God’s PROMISE and God cannot tell lies.

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV) “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV)
12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Can you imagine the JOY that Demon Possessed man experienced once he’d been set free? He wanted to follow Jesus, but he was told by Jesus to go and tell his family, friends and neighbours what God had done for him. Yesterday in St Luke’s Church we heard how Gemma had been set free by Jesus, not from Demons, but from the jaws of an alligator as she was sinking to almost certain death. Joy at knowing you’ve been set free transforms your life.

My friends, you can discover God is real and alive today, more real and more alive than you ever imagined. Satan is real too, but He’s not as powerful or influential as God. So stop doubting and believe, call out to God from a sincere heart, seek Him and you will find Him when you seek with all your heart. This is how you can prove to yourself that God is Knowable today.

PRAYER:

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name,
Your Kingdom Come,
Your will be done,
On Earth, As it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us,
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil,
For Yours is the Kingdom,
For Yours is the Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.

Your Kingdom Lord, In my life, as it is in Heaven.
Lead me not into temptation,
Deliver me from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom.
The POWER and The Glory. Amen!

You can be FREE, but that freedom is not automatic: You must; renounce, repent, confess and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, turn and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation from sin and freedom from Satan’s power. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for His sheep.

That man, possessed by demons, ran and fell at Jesus feet. Something in him made him run to Jesus.

My friends, will you run to Jesus Christ this morning? Run and fall at His feet… He can and will set you FREE today.

I’m praying that anyone who reads this today, may find that perfect and complete FREEDOM that only Jesus Christ can give. Amen.

Don.