The heart of the matter

Why is lawlessness surging in America? The blame game is being played. Guns, drugs, mental illness get the headlines but what are we really witnessing?

Here’s the cold hard truth.

A latter day sign of the return of Jesus is lawlessness. He said, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12

When lawlessness grows hot, love goes cold. The thermometer on our society has changed for the worse and we blame everything but the source of lies and hate.

Satan.

Of course this is laughable in a post Christian world where absolute truth is offensive, the Bible is shelved and rejected by “seminary trained spiritual leaders” and their sheep.

Paul points out the source and power of lawlessness and where it finds its home. It’s in the heart of people without faith in Christ.

[1] And you were dead in the trespasses and sins [2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—[3] among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3

Jesus said to the religious leaders that Satan was their father. He was a liar and murderer from the word go just like those hypocrites. (John 8:44) They are still among us.

His spirit is alive and well and working in the hearts of the religious, the irreligious and especially clergy who speak like the world and reject the word of God.

We have a serious spiritual crisis in America. Lawlessness is growing but the cure for individuals is still the same. It’s a heart issue and we need a transplant.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10

Grace and peace

Hope

How I know heaven is for real

Today marks 8 years since our son Jacob left us.

What is heaven like for him? What does he see? What does he hear? I’ve been thinking about these things today.

If he could return and tell us of heaven, which he will not, would it bring unbelievers to faith? No, it cannot.

Paul the apostle was taken to heaven but not allowed to speak of the things he heard and seen. But many people have profited off fanciful books about supposed heavenly experiences.

After Paul’s heavenly experience God allowed Satan to torment and weaken him. Why? To humble him into silence and to prevent pride from growing, because of the multiple heavenly revelations given to him from God.

What makes us think that the “experience” of a child would convince us that ”Heaven is for real?” If the apostle was prevented from speaking on these things why would I believe anybody else?

And what about hell? The rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back from paradise to his brothers and warn them of the coming torment.

What did Jesus teach on that?

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31

Truth is, unbelief is impenetrable apart from the gospel. All mankind’s subjective experiences are powerless to produce faith.

This was made very clear to Peter, James and John on the mount of transfiguration.

And what was Peters words concerning his actual, real experience?

“For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 2 Peter 1:17-19

Peters actual experience, though valid, took a back seat to the fulfilled prophecies concerning Jesus.

What am I getting at? Apart from the scriptures concerning Jesus there is no experience that can penetrate the hardened unbelieving heart.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

The continuing gospel epic in the scriptures of Jesus the Son of God is the power that God uses to save all who believe. Do you believe the following?

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-6

I have hope that I will someday meet Jesus face to face and be reunited with the ones I love.

This confident hope isn’t based on fanciful fables. It is based on actual, factual, historical, undeniable and verifiable truth.

Happy heavenly birthday Jacob. We love you and by grace through faith will see you again.

Jacob love dogs

The New Earth

The Grand Canyon

It’s earth day. The world is busy as ever trying to extend her shelf life. Climate change is real. The scriptures affirm its reality but how it happens is much different than the scoffing world expects.

God is patiently waiting for men to turn to him. But like the flood the day of the Lord will come and ignite the heavens and earth on fire.

2 Peter 3:10 says, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

Since we know the ending Peter reminds the believer how this truth should change us.

2 Peter 3:14 “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.”

Peter calls to a different kind of activism than the world. To be sober minded, rooted and growing in grace.

2 Peter 3:17-18-“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

The best earth day is the New Earth Day that is to come.

Isaiah 65:17

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

If tomorrow never comes

I am not absolutely sure, but I think the death of a child might be the deepest pain that an individual can experience in life.

I am confident however it has been my deepest hurt in life. There are things I would do differently if I had known Jake would die at 22.

Tuned into XM radio the other day Tim McGraws famous song Live like you were dying began to play.

https://youtu.be/_9TShlMkQnc

As I listened to the words again I thought about our easily forgotten destiny.

We all know that everybody has an expiration date. It’s not a thought we rest on too long. It’s uncomfortable. But if we did it just might change us for the good.

If you knew you or a loved one had a week to live what would you do? What would be on your bucket list?

Not to be too dark but we all are on a death march. We aren’t promised tomorrow and if we knew that tomorrow would never come for us what would that change today?

Two condemned criminals on crosses next to Jesus were in that very spot. Hear the words of a man who began to live like he was dying and the gracious response to him by our Lord.

[41] And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” [42] And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” [43] And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:41-43

Listen to the thief’s confessions about himself and his new faith in Jesus at deaths door. This is truly the beginning of living like he was dying and he received eternal life.

Today is the day of salvation. It’s the only day we presently have.

If we lived today, and every day, as our last day the world would be a much better place. Live like it is because it just might be. We aren’t promised tomorrow.

Insurmountable Evidence

Sitting on a hung jury once I was asked to examine the evidence and come to a verdict. The defendant was acquitted because of reasonable doubt.

For some the jury is still out on Jesus. Some are indifferent. Some are hostile. Some doubt. Some call it a myth. And some have not looked closely at the evidence to make a verdict.

There is no reasonable doubt in the case for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only unreasonable and willful rejection of insurmountable evidence.

Jesus is not on trial. He is the judge and we are not the jury but the defendant, our enemy is the prosecutor and we stand guilty before the court.

We all are guilty and we all need a pardon to escape the sentence.

On Good Friday Jesus took our death sentence upon himself.

[21] For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.- 2 Corinthians 5:21

Today we celebrate the the risen King and the gospel truth.

[3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. [6] Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:3-6

Prewritten, historical, actual and factual evidence demands a verdict. Jesus isn’t on trial- we are. What is your plea before the judge?

[22] “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—[23] this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. [24] God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. Acts 2:22-24

The insurmountable evidence has concluded that Jesus is the risen Son of God. How we respond to the evidence has eternal consequences.

Jesus is Lord! Yes he is Lord over all- even his enemies.

Happy Easter. He is risen indeed!