Saturday, July 28, 2012

Christ at the door

Holment Hunt, a famous English painter, in the late 1800’s painted a masterpiece entitled, “Christ at the door.” It is said that when Mr. Hunt had finished his painting, he displayed it for the critics. As it was unveiled, one of the critics replied with laughter, “You forgot to put a latch on the door.” The great artist replied, “There is no latch on the door; the latch is on the inside.”
The inspiration for the painting was Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” When we examine a reproduction of Hunt’s, “Christ at the door,” we will see no latch on the door. Truly, the latch is on the inside. If Jesus comes into our lives, it will not be because He forced His way in, but because we opened the door by submission to Him.
Everyone has the power of choice. Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” God will not choose for you, but neither are you predestined for obedience. You make up your own mind, but you had better choose wisely and follow the straight path which leads to eternal life (Matthew 7:13-14).
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The fear of the Lord

We have all probably heard by now of the terrible movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. What a tragedy to happen to so many innocent people. We may be wondering right now why anyone would do what the shooter did. Was it because he was sick or mentally disturbed? I saw a post on Facebook the other day that helped me understand the situation better. The post pointed out that the man has no fear of God and no moral decency and therefore would have no problem doing what he did. In my opinion, this could not be more correct. While the man could be sick in some way, the fact that he has no fear for God allows him to do whatever he wants without being bothered by his conscience.

Abraham thought about the people of Gerar this way. That is why he lied to Abimelech about Sarah being his sister. Abraham said in Genesis 20:11, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.” Abraham feared those who did not fear God.

These two examples show us how important it is to fear God. Without it we would so easily fall prey to Satan. Fear of God will always encourage us to do right and to hold on to moral principles so that we will keep ourselves from sin. Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” If we want to have wisdom and be close to our Creator, we must have respect for Him as our Creator, realizing He will judge us in the end. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Judgment is coming! Don't be in sin when it arrives because it truly will be fearful to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31).

Jonathan Glaesemann

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sometimes the devil is not in the details

Abram is a good example of this principle at work in a Bible character. He walked by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). In the following scripture, read about the call of Abram to do God’s will. Watch to see how much detail he was given before he was asked to follow: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came” (Genesis 12:1-5).

God said, “Get out of your country.” How specific was God? He gave Abram this much detail: “to the land I will show you.” That is all God asked Abram to do. God promised to do the rest. Would you be willing to follow God’s directions for your life with that little detail?

Kyle Campbell

Monday, July 9, 2012

"We believe and therefore speak"

“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13).

For those of us who have heard the word of God and obeyed it, there is a duty that we have to teach the gospel. It is not just an option. We have an obligation to let others know about Christ. If we know what is right, then why not want to tell it to others? That is exactly what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 4:13; he spoke or taught what he believed.

There are great rewards that come with this. Not only are we pleasing in God’s sight when we teach what we believe, but we have pleasure in saving souls. Paul had taught the Corinthians and follows up what he said in vs. 13 by saying in vs. 14, “knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.” Paul is rejoicing in his work, knowing that since he taught the Corinthians, they would be raised up and presented pleasing before God on the Day of Judgment.

What a great thought knowing that God will not only welcome us home, but will welcome those who we have taught, having obeyed the gospel and lived faithful until death. We might not convert everyone that we teach, but even if we only convert one sinner to God, it will be worth it! “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).

Jonathan Glaesemann

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Counterfeit revival

When selling and sensationalism become more tantalizing than truth, the very foundation of our faith is compromised. Back in 1994, a new “revival” which was supposed to be a “great awakening” and led by the likes of Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn have ensnared thousands in a great deception. This “revival” continues on today through many prominent men and women, including the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

In times past, these people would have been known as “holy rollers,” but they literally jump up and down furiously, chop their hands frantically through the air, flap their hands in the air, violently throw their heads backward and forward and bend wildly at the waist. Other manifestations have included people falling out of their pews without anyone even touching them, people being pinned to the floor for hours while being subjected to the “Holy Ghost glue,” speaking in tongues and, of course, claims of miraculous healing.

God declared in Deuteronomy 18:15-20 that a false prophet would be known if his prophecies did not come true. These manifestations, which are done under the guise of the Holy Spirit, are false! The problem in all of this is that millions are looking on in amazement and dismissing the Bible and the gospel as little more than a hoax. They say, “These people are gullible fools.”

Never forget that the essentials of the Christian faith are the very doctrines for which the martyrs spilled their blood. Some may be cavalier about this today but they were not. All of these manifestations were conspicuously absent in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles. In fact, Peter warned us to be wary of such pagan practices, telling us to be “self-controlled and sober-minded” (1 Peter 4:7, ESV).

Kyle Campbell

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A living sacrifice

Under the Law of Moses, sacrifices were made for atonement of sin on a regular basis. Since one could not keep the Law perfectly, bulls, goats and sheep had to be offered as a sacrifice to God. Christ became the lamb without spot and blemish to save us from our sins so that we would no longer have to offer animal sacrifices (1 Corinthians 5:7). We can be justified by faith (Ephesians 2:8) and have our sins forgiven by obeying the gospel (Romans 10:10; Acts 2:38). But just because we don’t offer animal sacrifices doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make sacrifices. Not of animals, but of ourselves.

Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Of course, this is not a literal sacrifice as done under the Law, but it is spiritual devotion of us to God. This could include what we do and don’t do. Notice Paul says to present our bodies a living sacrifice. Keeping from certain things that can dishonor our body like drugs, alcohol, fornication (1Corinthians 6:18-20) etc. can help our bodies be a living sacrifice. On the other hand, if we use our bodies for worship, prayer, teaching, and helping others, this can also be a way of presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice.

We have to use both ways in in our life if we want to be holy and acceptable to God. The only thing that can keep us doing this is selfishness and missing the fact that we are to be devoted to God. When we do this, we open the door for ways we can dishonor our body. Instead, value yourself and your body, for you were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Jonathan Glaesemann