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Sunday, December 21, 2014

What does Jesus look like?

Posted by Gary on February 7, 2014

Revelation 1:12-18  “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”

I have titled this post, “What does Jesus look like?” as a follow up to my most recent post, “What did Jesus look like?”. The distinction being Jesus’ appearance while on earth in contrast to what He looks like now that He has returned to His glory in heaven.

The Bible says virtually nothing about what Jesus looked like during His time on earth except that there was nothing in His appearance to attract us to Him (Isaiah 53:2). But in the first chapter of the book of Revelation, we find a detailed explanation of what Jesus looks like now and it is my great hope that contemplating this description of Jesus will transform our understanding of Him and transform our lives.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

What did Jesus look like?

Posted by Gary on February 5, 2014

Isaiah 53:2  “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.”

In almost everyone, the mention of the name of Jesus brings to mind a handsome man, with long brown hair and beard. You can see Him in your mind’s eye can’t you? There He is, knocking on the door with no handle or laying across that large rock in the garden of Gethsemane praying. We know Jesus when we see Him don’t we?

The truth is, Jesus did not (does not) look anything like the pictures of Him we have admired and hung in our homes thinking that they can bring down some blessing on our house, keep the devil away or at least make Jesus seem nearer to us.

How do I know what Jesus looks like? I don’t. That is the point and neither do you or anyone else for that matter.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Ignoring God by focusing on Phil Robertson

Posted by Gary on January 22, 2014

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Some time has past since Phil Robertson’s interview with GQ magazine and all the stir that followed it linked to Phil’s comments about homosexuality. In case you have forgotten the comment that caused the outrage here it is:

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men, … Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

In response, A&E immediately suspended Phil from the show and many organizations most prominently, GLAAD condemned Phil’s statements. For days on end, Phil Robertson and his comments were the focus of the media. The focus was quite slanted, the southern Bible thumper and his “rant” (did you notice how many times the word “rant” was used?). Did you also notice the frequent application of the label, “homophobic”? I have often wondered why people who condemn Bible believing Christians are not labelled “Christo-phobic”? But that is for another post.

It is almost impossible to imagine any more attention given to Phil Robertson than was given. But to me it was notable that the most important thing of all in the whole matter was avoided and that was God’s warning. Tons of emphasis on the man who made the comment and horror that homosexuality was condemned but no attention at all to the warning from God’s word that we not deceive ourselves.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Pope Francis, a warning…

Posted by Gary on September 19, 2013

Hebrews 11:6  “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10  “…when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed– for our testimony to you was believed.”

Tell the truth or be nice? It is tempting sometimes to just be nice for this is the way the world is going and those who insist on the truth of Scripture are marked men for certain. But by God’s grace we speak…

I cannot say strongly enough to those I love and to those I don’t even know, (yet love) who are under the influence of Roman Catholicism, that you are in danger and that the most recent pope, Francis, is a glaring image and voice of the evil of Catholic doctrine.

In a recent letter to the founder of “La Repubblica” (an Italian newspaper) Francis negates the necessity of the cross of Christ, denies the Christian faith and holds forth a false hope to those who refuse God’s command to believe on His Son. Here is the key excerpt from the pope’s letter:

“So I come to the three questions you put to me in the article of August 7. It seems to me that, in the first two, what is in your heart is to understand the attitude of the Church to those who don’t share faith in Jesus. First of all, you ask me if the God of Christians forgives one who doesn’t believe and doesn’t seek the faith. Premise that – and it’s the fundamental thing – the mercy of God has no limits if one turns to him with a sincere and contrite heart; the question for one who doesn’t believe in God lies in obeying one’s conscience. Sin, also for those who don’t have faith, exists when one goes against one’s conscience. To listen to and to obey it means, in fact, to decide in face of what is perceived as good or evil. And on this decision pivots the goodness or malice of our action.”

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

President Obama and the children…

Posted by Gary on January 18, 2013

Ephesians 5:11 “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them…”

imageOn Wednesday, we witnessed President Obama surround himself with children as he addressed the nation on the issue of gun violence. There are many words that might be used to describe the President’s use of these children including: opportunistic, political and exploitive. But, these words will not suffice. More accurate words would be: sinful, deceitful and wicked.

Let’s begin here…do the children that the President hid behind to shield himself from the scrutiny his actions deserve, understand with adult comprehension the matters that they wrote to the President about and that the President used to advance his Constitution trampling agenda? Certainly these children think it is terrible that other children were shot and killed as do we all. These children want shootings like this to stop and of course, children and adults alike concur.

But, do these children understand that there are matters involved here that pertain to the Constitution that must considered along with and even above our need to solve a problem? Do they understand that the President may have another, greater, motive in regard to gun laws beyond his displayed concern for children? In short, do these children understand that this matter and the motives of those involved are not as simple as, “We don’t want children to be shot”?

Quite simply, these children, who are children in their understanding and comprehension were used as pawns in a matter that is above them and beyond their current capacity to understand. This however did not deter the President for he sees these children as emotional leverage to accomplish his goals for who is going to say anything harsh to the President while he is surrounded by children? This quite simply was cowardice on the part of the President but to his advantage and he has no qualms about violating truth and decency in his aim to systematically dismantle the America that our forefathers established and that you and I have been blessed to lived in.

Well ok, let’s take the President on his terms…he obviously believes that these children are mature enough to come into adult realms and issues and that they should play a role in making adult decisions. I would ask the President since he feels these children are capable of such adult understanding and decisions if he has treated them like adults by being honest with them about his views concerning all children’s lives?

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting- Asking a question we don’t want the answer to…

Posted by Gary on December 18, 2012

The news from the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting has horrified and saddened an entire nation and has left virtually everyone asking “why” or “how” such a terrible thing could happen.

It would be good for us to know that there is a moral obligation that comes when asking certain questions. I don’t mean a question like “What is the price of tea in China?” but when we individually or as a nation ask how someone can enter a school and kill 26 people including many young children we have obligated ourselves morally in the asking. To what are we morally bound? To honestly want the answer. To ask this question and really not want the truthful answer is not only cruel, but is an evil itself for the matter is too important and serious to inquire into and then refuse the truthful answer. Lives are in the balance as we seek the answer. How tragic, how evil it would be to have the real answer to this question available and to pretend to want it but to then refuse the answer when it comes.

If it isn’t clear where this is all heading, let me state it plainly… I am convinced that though America is repeatedly asking why Adam Lanza would murder as he did, I do not believe we want the answer. I’ll wait for the shock and horror to die down as I imagine some will think this a terrible assertion and untimely. But I sincerely, emphatically, believe that we do not really want to know why Adam Lanza killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School because the answer is spiritual in nature, involves God and ultimately, you and me.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

God, working and eating-our politician’s convenient use of God…

Posted by Gary on December 1, 2012

2 Thessalonians 3:7-11 “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example. For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.”

imageDuring the last election cycle as it has been many times before, God was claimed, summoned and represented by our political parties and politicians. It would appear as you listen to many politicians that God’s only concern is to feed the poor. That God cares for the poor is undeniable and we are grateful for a God who cares about those in need. But does nothing else matter to God? Is this all we can find to say about Him?

Delaware’s own Senator Chris Coon’s wrote an article about God and the political parties shortly after his party’s convention and the stir that was caused over the Democrats dropped reference to God in the party platform. (We would be unfair if we did not make note of the fact that Democrats graciously reinstated God in the party platform). In the article Coons says:

“What matters more than whether in the party’s platform the word “faith” was followed by the phrase “in God” was whether the values reflected in the platform showed an intention to honor God’s call to us for action that shows His preference for the poor, His demands that we care for each other as neighbors and work to heal the sick, feed the hungry and protect those in need.

The Democratic platform fully embraces those values, but they are hard to find in the Republican platform.

Psalm 72 teaches us that to defend the cause of the poor and to give deliverance to the needy is one of our highest callings — a call that is repeated throughout books of the Torah and the New Testament. To reject the great tradition of a circle of protection defies God’s will and undermines America’s values.”

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

Our approach to teen sex-love the sex, hate the baby…

Posted by Gary on November 26, 2012

“Pediatricians treating teenaged girls should consider writing just-in-case prescriptions for the morning-after pill,  the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said on Monday.” (from NBC News)

Today we read that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teenage girls be given an emergency prescription by their doctors for the “morning after pill”.

America increasingly encourages teen, unmarried sex with of course, the way to eliminate the children who are often conceived from the sex teens partake in. Sex is good, babies are bad. Yes young teen, you have a right to have sex, even if someone has to die in the process.

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

President Obama, America, you, me, take note…

Posted by Gary on November 24, 2012

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni confesses his nation’s sins. Read it here.

If America has a hope it will only come about by her people and leaders repenting of our sins. Will we? Will I? Will you? Yes, you.

The diagnosis and cure…

Posted by Gary on November 22, 2012

Revelation 3:17-19 “Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”

Modern evangelicals in our culture have gotten money, power, and influence, and it has been like giving whiskey to a two-year-old. But the need of the hour is theological, not political. The arena is the pulpit and the (Lord’s) table, not the legislative chamber. The message is Christ crucified and risen for His chosen sinners and now acknowledged Lord of all. This risen and conquering Christ is the Head of the Church. Before we are equipped to proclaim His lordship to the inhabitants of all the earth, we must live as though we believed it in the Church

We must therefore study the Scriptures and reform our doctrines and beliefs according to the Scriptures. We must then pray, seeking reformation and doctrinal renewal from the sovereign Lord Who alone can bestow it. When the household of God has been cleansed, according to His Word, we will be  qualified to preach the triumph of the Lord Christ to the nations of the world. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). (Doug Wilson from “Mother Kirk” p.22)