Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Jude, Part 12

In today’s study, we find out why Jude compared the rebellion of false teachers with that of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in the Old Testament.

What is the “rebellion of Korah”? This account is in Numbers 16:1-35 in the Old Testament. Core, along with Dathan and Abiram took two-hundred and fifty leaders and rebelled against Moses and Aaron; their God-given appointed leaders. They insisted that Moses and Aaron were taking too much authority upon themselves. Of course, the heart of the matter was that they did not want to be submissive to the divine authority that God has set up over them. Today, it’s no different, instead of standing with censors, like these guys ended up doing, to see who God had really put in charge, they have secretive and called business 10 meetings to get the job done. It’s just as unscriptural and evil. Of course, in the end, God’s men were vindicated and the earth opened up and swallowed all who were involved in the rebellion who had murmured against God’s appointed leaders. I’ve been in a few meetings in which I’ve half-expected that same thing to happen at any moment! 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jude, Part 11

In today's study, we conclude our look at the "Error of Balaam" as mentioned in Jude 11.

Eventually, the Lord allowed Balaam to go, but he was to only speak what God told him to (Num. 22:20). Along the way, a strange thing happened. The donkey upon which Balaam was riding began to act strange (Num. 22:22-35). It was at this point that Balaam look up and saw the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword. I believe that the donkey saved Balaam’s life. God was going to kill him because of his motives. Make no mistake about, God knows our motives (Hebrews 4:12). When he finally arrived and met Balak, he received his instructions which were to curse the children of Israel. Of course, God would not allow this, so every time Balaam opened his mouth to curse the Israelites, he could only bless them. Naturally, that did not sit too well with Balak as that he wanted them cursed and not blessed (Numbers 23:7-11, 18-26, 24:3-11).

However, a closer look at Scripture confirms that Balak found a way around this to make his money. Revelation 2:14 and Numbers 31:15-16 make it clear what Balaam’s bright idea was. He couldn't curse God's people if God wouldn't let him, but he could help Balak bring God's curse upon them by getting them to sin. So, he told Balak, "Look, if you have your prettiest women camp out by the Israelite camp, then they'll fall in love, intermarry, fall into idolatry, and then the Lord will have to curse them." Amazing, isn't it? That someone who can have spiritual gifts and say spiritual things, can be sucked into sin so easily by compromise and greed?

Of course, God remembered Balaam’s actions and rewarded him accordingly. It says in Numbers 31:8 that the Children of Israel afterward armed themselves against the Midianites and “…they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

Jude, Part 10

Today we take a look at what Jude calls the "Error of Balaam" as found in Jude 5.

The “error of Balaam” is the motivation for gain in ministry. In other words, ministry is a means to an end. By the way, Balaam is never spoken of positively in the New Testament. 2 Peter 2:15 says that they “…have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” Again, we see his name in Revelation 2:14-15 which says, “…I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” Now, hate is a very strong word, but that is exactly how God feels about the “error” or “doctrine” Balaam.

The first time that we meet Balaam in Scripture is in Numbers 22-24. The Israelites were camped in the plains of Moab and after seeing what they had done to the Amorites, Balak sent for a prophet named Balaam to curse them (Num.22:1-6). Balaam asked the Lord about the request and the Lord said, "No” (Num. 22:9-12), but then Balak sent more guys and more money (Numbers 22:15-18). God had already said no, but Balaam felt it necessary to ask the Lord again, which was his first mistake, and the Lord permissively allowed Balaam to compromise and go. God knew Balaam’s heart. He wanted the money.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jude, Part 9

In today's study we take a closer look at what Jude is referring to in regards to the accusation that false teachers, and those who follow them, have gone the "Way of Cain."

The scripture is our authority. Where and when we come into conflict with it – we are wrong and must make the necessary adjustments. An old preacher said one time, “Where God puts periods, don’t you go putting question marks.” We do not stand in judgment of the Bible. The Bible stands in judgment of us.

Fourth, they not only reject authority, but “they speak evil of dignitaries.” When men speak evil of God, His Son, the prophets, or of God’s men, they speak evil of dignities. We are to esteem God, His Son Jesus, and His Church in holy awe! Peter made this abundantly clear when he penned 2 Peter 2. The bottom line is that all of this comes about as a result of rejecting authority.

I’m amazed at some of the things that I’ve heard people say about other pastors, let alone myself. We live in a day in which men have no respect for authority at all. We will see in the next verse that Michael the archangel when contending with the devil over the body of Moses would not dare to make a “railing accusation” against him. And yet, church members will go out to lunch after a service and chew their pastors up and spit them out like it is nothing at all. They have no fear of God. They are rejecting authority and in so doing, they are rejecting the ultimate Authority who placed that pastor over them. The problem in our culture today is that everybody thinks that they have a right to be right and to be heard. Not according to the Bible my dear friend. You gave up that right when you came to the cross.

Verse 9: “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” We must remember that the context of this verse is rejection of authority and speaking evil of those whom God has placed over us. The point is that if Michael, an archangel, would not dare speak evil of Satan himself, then who are we to speak evil of those around us who are in positions of authority?

After being in the ministry for a few years and ministering with several churches in different staff positions, I’m amazed at how many in the congregation honestly think that it is their divine calling to keep the man of God in check. Watch out! God doesn’t need your help. Trust me, God will police that man in his own time and in his own way and He doesn’t need your help to do it. If He brought him in, He can take him out. You better worry about the speck that is in your own eye (Matthew 7:3-5).

Verse 10: “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” Again, this is referring to these apostate teachers that had crept into the church. Notice it says that they speak evil of “things which they know not.” In other words, they don’t have a clue about the true things of God. Instead, they are like “brute beasts”. It’s essentially the same thing that the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." These men are natural in that they have not truly given their lives to Christ and are therefore incapable to truly understanding and appreciating the things of God. 

Verses 11-13: “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” This is the judgment of God that is surely to fall upon these natural brute beasts or filthy dreamers. Notice that he compares them to Cain, Balaam, and Core. What is the “way of Cain?” They way of Cain, is a bloodless religion of works. If you will remember that when man first sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit in Genesis 3; God immediately made them “coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). Now, in order for God to make coats of skins for Adam and Eve, something had to die. Blood had to be shed so that their nakedness could be covered. God clearly demonstrated to them how a sacrifice had to be made for the atonement (covering) of their sins.

Later in Genesis 4:1-8 we find their children Cain and Abel bringing their sacrifices to God just as they had been taught by their mother and father. However, Cain chose to do something different. Instead of bringing a blood sacrifice as he had been taught by his parents like his brother Abel, he chose to bring the works of his own hands. In other words, he brought a bloodless sacrifice. This event is spoken in both Hebrews 11:4 where it says, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Also, it is spoken of in 1 John 3:12, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.” So too, these apostates that Jude is speaking of have denied the power of the blood.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Jude, Part 8

In today's study we find that men who reject authority reject God.

The conclusion of the matter is this. The commonality that I see with these three is that while God offered them all life, they chose death. They chose to “do it” their way instead of God’s. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” The sad thing is that God does not desire that anyone should go to Hell. The Bible says in John 3:17, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” It is not the will of God that any should go through the punishment that Israel, the fallen angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah went through. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is  longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” It is the desire of God that everyone should go to heaven. No one has to make the bad decisions that Israel, the angles, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah made.

I am reminded of what Jesus said in Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” He again said in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” God loves people and desires that they should all be saved and not one perish.

Verse 8: “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” In other words, these men resemble rebellious Israel, the fallen angels, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Their sins are the same. Paul also tells us four things about these guys. First, they are “filthy dreamers”. In other words, they dream things up as they go along. They are not grounded in the Word of God. I believe that a call to ministry is a call to prepare. Too many people run headlong into ministry unprepared. I know 1 John 2:27 about not needing anyone to teach us, but still we also have so many around us who have been there, done that, walked in ministry for a few years. The Bible also says that there is “wisdom in a multitude of counselors” and to “study to shew thyself approved unto God” as well.

I’m afraid that too many in ministry take pride in their lack of education. It’s like they think that their ignorance makes them more dependent upon God and therefore more usable for His service. My friend, the pride of the uneducated is no better than the pride of the educated. God looks at the heart and not what’s in the frame on your office wall. God will use any man or woman who has a desire to serve Him with a whole heart.

If you are going to be a good Bible teacher, you must sit at someone’s feet. It may be a
man of God that you respect tremendously or a professor at a Bible college or seminary. Still,
the end result is an education from somewhere. I personally think that the days of guarding the
“ivy walls” of the colleges are over. Internet has introduced an entirely new, effective, convenient and cheaper way to educate men and women for the ministry. Use it to your advantage.

Second, they “defile the flesh.” They pollute themselves with sin because of their corrupt passions and evil desires. The end result is that they do not live holy and separated lives. They is no doubt that this issue is becoming more and more of a problem as the end draws near. I believe that even the church is for the most part, worldly. Why? – Because we have allowed so much of the world into the church in the name of trying to reach the world. We have become so relevant that we are no longer relevant. Oh, I know, I’ve heard every argument under the sun about how the only way to reach them today is by changing the methods, etc…, but sadly the end result is that there are fewer people in the church today than there was yesterday. The methods are not working. I believe that they are simply confusing the issue. We have churches full of people today who do not know their right hand from their left when it comes to spiritual matters. They proof is the worldly lives that they live both inside
and outside of the church house.

Third, they “reject authority.” Men who despise authority despise the Bible…because the Bible regiments and regulates and exhorts a man and a woman to walk in holiness. Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them. It goes against what they want. However, the writer of Proverbs wrote, “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." (Proverbs 12:1). Sure, the Bible is going to rub us the wrong way from time to time. What’s wrong with that? Jesus did say in Matthew 10:34-36, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.” Also, the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

The scripture is our authority. Where and when we come into conflict with it – we are wrong and must make the necessary adjustments. An old preacher said one time, “Where God puts periods, don’t you go putting question marks.” We do not stand in judgment of the Bible. The Bible stands in judgment of us.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Jude, Part 7

We continue our study today taking a closer look at why God deemed it necessary to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had chosen to shake their fists in God’s face and live lives of sexual immorality, and perversion. Their most blatant sin was that of homosexuality or sodomy. Sodom is actually where we get the name sodomy today. According to the dictionary, the word refers to “copulation with a member of the same sex.”

Many a liberal has argued that God did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality, but instead for a lack of hospitality because they did not offer the angels who visited them a place to stay. They would have us to believe that God wiped out entire cities because they were inhospitable. No, Genesis 13:13 says that the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. That’s sounds like a whole lot more than not being nice!
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. The sin of homosexuality is the sin of sexual affection for a member of the same sex. The act of sex between two males is called Sodomy. We see this sin mentioned all throughout the Scriptures. 1 Kings 14:24 And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. Deut 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 1 Kings 15:12 And he took away the sodomites out of the land,… 1 Kings 22:46 And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land. 2 Kings 23:7 And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. 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 the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality (the KJV calls them effeminates), nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Also, see I Timothy 1:8-11 and Romans 1:18-32. Even the book of Job mentioned them when he said in Job 36:14 that they die in youth, and their life is among the unclean. In context, Elihu was trying to convey to Job was that those who lived hypocritical lifestyles, and yet claimed to be righteous, would be treated in the same manner as the most abandoned and vile of the human race: the sodomites.

In conclusion, here are some sad statistics that were released by the Family Research Institute, “The average age of a homosexual man dying with AIDS is 39. The average age of gays dying of all other causes is 41. (The average heterosexual married man lives 75 years.) Only one percent of men who practice homosexual sex lives to be 65 or older. Love Wins? I don’t think so. God will not be mocked. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jude, Part 6

In today's study, we take our first look at why the Lord God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Finally, we see the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah who had “given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh.” The people of Sodom and Gomorrah had chosen to shake their fists in God’s face and live lives of sexual immorality and perversion. Their sin was that of homosexuality. Many a liberal has argued against this in favor of inhospitality because no one offered the angels a place to stay upon their arrival to the city. That is utterly preposterous. They would have us to believe that God wiped out entire cities because they were inhospitable? Wow, that’s a real hard one to swallow my friend. The text in Genesis 13:13 says that the “…men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” That sounds a little more serious than not just being nice! If the truth be known, the men of the City of Sodom had surrounded the house of Lot and asked him to send the men out to them so that they may “know them” (Genesis 19:5). There is no doubt that Lot knew exactly what they were asking for because of his response in Genesis 19:8 which was “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.” It’s obvious what these men wanted. They wanted to have sex with the two men who were in Lot’s house. Make no mistake about it; God destroyed Sodom for the sin of homosexuality and not a lack of hospitality.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Jude, Part 5

In this study we take a look at the Sons of God who lost their first estate in regards to who they were and what they did.

Second, we see the angels who kept not their first estate. I believe that these angles are a certain group of angels who did something especially grievous. We see this account in Genesis 6:1-4 which says, “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." And as a result, according to Jude, they were cast from heaven and are “…reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day…” That “great day” spoken of here is when they are released from the Bottomless Pit is Revelation 9:1-12.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jude, Part 4

Today we look at the first example of those in time past who rebelled against God and the judgment that was brought upon them as a result: the Children of Israel.

Verses 5-7: “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as  Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Now Jude gives three examples from the past of how God deals with false teachers and those who turn away from the faith. Fist, the children of Israel were saved miraculously out of Egypt only to die in the desert because of disobedience. God, by a mighty hand, had delivered them out of slavery at the hand of their oppressors, the Egyptians, but because of unbelief, all of them over the age of twenty died in the wilderness except for Joshua and Caleb.

It’s the same with many in the church today, they have been miraculously saved, born again, but they are dying in the desert because of their disobedience. God wants to bless them, but He can’t, because of their freedom of choice. They have chosen to seek and serve self and not the God of their salvation. If there is one thing for sure, God will never violate our wills; at least not in this life.

I’ve heard many Christians who are out of God’s will say, “Well, I don’t live under the law any more. I live under grace.” I assume that’s supposed to be some kind of excuse for their disobedience. Well, that’s not a completely true statement. Yes, we do have the ability to live under grace through obedience, but, we also have the ability to live under the law through disobedience. God when speaking to the children of Israel said, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” Choose life through obedience God will bless. Choose death through disobedience God will curse.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Jude, Part 3

We continue in this study looking at these ungodly men that had crept into the church that Jude is warning us about.

Verses 2-4: “Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now we see why Jude was burdened to write this letter. We see from verse 3 that he had originally intended to write this letter “concerning our common salvation.” But, because of the danger of “certain men who had crept in unnoticed”, he decided to write about that instead.

Who were these men? We are told four things about them. 1. They are “marked out for condemnation.” 2. They are “ungodly.” 3. They “turn the grace of our God into licentiousness” (or lewdness, obscenity). 4. They “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” These are the same men who Jesus warned us about when He said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

From these verses we must conclude that not everything or everyone who calls themselves Christian is truly “Christian.” Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” We need to be very mindful of this before we put our trust in anyone who’s words do not line up with their lives!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Jude, Part 2

In today's study, we continue to look at the characteristics of every Christian and look a little closer at what some call the five fundamentals of the faith.

Third, the Bible says that Jesus “calls” all men unto Himself. Whether they come or not is their choice, but all are called. I.e. John 3:16. No, I do not accept the “Limited Atonement” argument given by the Calvinists. That reminds me of a missionary who came into my office a number of years ago while I was pastoring in South Texas and asked me if I was a Calvinist. I told him that I was not. Then he said that by default that made me an Armenian. To that, I also told him that I was not an Armenian either. You see, in his mind, I had to be one or the other. Why? - the words “Calvinist” and “Armenian” are not in the Bible. I am a Christian and that’s it.

That reminds me of a story about a small First Baptist Church and a small First Christian Church in a small town who gathered to discuss merging so that they could pool their resources. About half way through the discussion, a Baptist deacon said, “My great-grandfather was a Baptist, my grandfather was a Baptist, my father was a Baptist, and there ain’t nobody going to make a Christian out of me!” Folks, we really need to get our priorities in place.

Verses 2-4: “Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now we see why Jude was burdened to write this letter. We see from verse 3 that he had originally intended to write this letter “concerning our common salvation.” But, because of the danger of “certain men who had crept in unnoticed”, he decided to write about that instead.

Jude, Part 1

Today, we introduce the little epistle of Jude and take a closer look at verse 1.

The purpose of Jude can be summed up in the words, fight, contend, and do battle. It encourages the church to counter the apostasy that arises and the false teachers who creep into the church to attack the Word of God and turn God’s grace into a license to do as they please. It furthermore exhorts believers to be spiritually “in shape” to answer this call to arms, because the danger is very real. 

To bring this point home and to show his readers how God has responded to these types in time past, Jude reminds his readers of how God dealt with unbelieving Israel in the desert, the disobedient angels, and wicked Sodom and Gomorrah. This is the message of Jude. 

Verse 1: “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” The author of this book was none other the Jude the brother of Jesus. You mean Jesus had brothers? Yes! And sisters too! 

This verse brings up a very good and controversial point about the perpetual virginity of Mary. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that Jesus had no brothers and sisters and that Mary and Joseph had no children after our Lord Jesus. However, the preponderance of Scripture does not bear this out. Matthew 13:55-56 says, “Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" So, the Bible does teach that Jesus had brothers and sisters and one of them was Jude. 

However, there was one major difference between Jesus and his brothers and sisters. While they all had the same mother, they had two different fathers. Jesus’ father was God and Jude and his other siblings’ father was Joseph the Carpenter. We also see mentioned here, James the brother of Jude, half brother of Jesus. He was the famous pastor of the church in Jerusalem who spoke up at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. 

Another point worth bearing out at this time is that Jude like his brothers probably did not believe that Jesus was who he said to be until sometime after his resurrection. John said in John 7:5, “even His brothers did not believe in Him.” But then we see in Acts 1:14 that they were all with Mary and the disciples in the upper room waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit! 

Also, notice the three characteristics of Christians found in this verse. They are “sanctified,” “preserved,” and “called.” First, the word “sanctified” means to be “set apart” or “consecrated for God’s purposes.” That begs the question, “How are we then sanctified?” The answer is, “by the truth.” Jesus said in John 17:17-19, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me 2 into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” What we see in this verse is that as we begin to know and understand the Bible, we become sanctified, set apart, and consecrated. 

Paul while speaking to the men of Ephesus said “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,” That is why I place so much emphasizes on the teaching of the Bible. It’s only when we sit under the teaching of the Word of God week after week that we are cleansed. In essence, sitting under the teaching of the Word is like taking a shower. How long has it been since you had a good shower? I’m afraid that for many Christians, it’s been too long and they are beginning to smell. Why is this? – Because too many are settling for children’s programs, youth gatherings, worship bands and warm-fuzzies. Christians are looking for all of the wrong things in the modern church today. Show me a youth program, children’s ministry or worship band in the Bible. They simply are not there. Then pray tell me why so many go looking for something that is not in the Bible. I believe that the Devil is using these extracurricular activities to distract the church from its main objective – “the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12). 

Listen mom and dad – it’s all well and good that little Johnny is enjoying the youth group and little Suzie is having a great time running around in the children’s ministry, but what about you? Are you getting fed? Are you growing in your walk with the Lord? Are you any closer to God today than you were yesterday? If you are not growing in your walk with the Lord, you cannot lead your children in their walks with the Lord either. For the love of God, find a church that teaches the Bible and stop looking to be entertained. Entertain your children at home. That is not the church’s job. 

Second, also notice that Christians are preserved. “Preserved” means to be “saved from injury, destruction or decay.” Paul said in Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” As God spoke to Abraham he said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." In other words, don’t worry Abram, I am going to take care of you. Also, David cried out, “Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God." But You, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.” (Psalm 3:2-3). The bottom line is that God keeps them “in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3). 

Here is another distraction in the church today – eternal security of the believer or what some would rather call the perseverance of the saints. Whatever you chose to call it, it’s a bait and switch from the enemy. It’s taking our eyes off of the cross. It’s majoring in the minors. Yes, if you’re truly saved you’re always saved. Yes, if you persevere, than that means you’re saved. Yes, if you don’t persevere then you never were saved to begin with. My goodness, we’re saying the same thing. Let me ask you this while you’re arguing among yourselves, 3 “When was the last time you personally led someone to Jesus?” I believe that all of our bickering breaks the heart of God because it takes our eyes off of him. Leave that stuff to the little professors to discuss over donuts in the teacher’s lounge at the college down the street. Lead people to Jesus! 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Pursuit of Meaning

We live in a society today that is continually trying to find meaning. So, in that never ending pursuit, they latch on to any and every "righteous" cause. Yet, the only truly righteous man that ever lived claimed that he alone was the fountain that would never run dry and that only the water he had to offer would allow us to never thirst again. No Christ. No Peace. Know Christ. Know Peace.

Monday, June 19, 2017


We all have a worldview. The question is which one. Well, it depends upon the lens through which we are looking. If the lens is secular in nature, then we will tend see things from a point of view that does not lend itself to the supernatural or the things of God. On the other hand, if the lens through which we see the world is sacred, we will tend to see things from a point of view that does lend itself to the supernatural and the things of God. The authors also referred to this as the filter, funnel, or theological sieve through which we take in our surroundings.

That being said even with a sacred worldview, there are still internal struggles that happen within each of us that cause conflict when it comes to our individual desires. Much of that, I have found, is dependent upon where we are in our walks with the Lord. If we are walking close to Him, in the His world, obeying His truth, we do not tend to struggle as much, and things tend to be more black and white. However, if we are not where we need to be with the Lord, not in His word, not being obedient, that is when things tend to get complicated and conflict arises in regards to our desires.

The Apostle John described it very well when he said in 1 John 2:15-16 that we are not to love the world, nor the things that are in it. He goes on to say that if any man does love the world that the love of the Father is not in him, and as a result, he will desire for the things of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. None of which is of the Father. Again, the struggle tends to boil down to where we are in our relationships with the Lord. As believers, we are called to a standard that is above the world’s standard. You might say that it is a heavenly standard, and the holy way to reach that standard, or to at least make an honest attempt, is with a worldview that is firmly grounded in the Word of God.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Marriage Supper Of The Lamb - Revelation 19:7-14

Today, we see that once in Heaven, the redeemed are going to participate in an event called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Hallelujah! - Revelation 19:1-6

Today, we enter into chapter 19 after Babylon has been destroyed and see the saints in Heaven praising the Lord that their blood has been avenged.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Babylon Has Fallen - Revelation 18:7-24

In today's study, we conclude the final destruction of Babylon for all of the crimes that she has committed against God's people.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Come Out Of Her - Revelation 18:1-6

Today, we start to see the final destruction of Babylon for the crimes that she has committed against God's people.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

One To Rule Them All - Revelation 17:12-18

Today, we wrap up chapter 17 and discover that eventually the Antichrist will destroy the harlot and the ten kings. We also discuss why.

Just My Thoughts

Sunday morning, my wife was not feeling well, so I ventured out to visit and old friend's church that I went to Bible College with. He is such a great guy, with a passion for the Lord, and the Word. He has been serving his church faithfully for 25 years. That is a long time for anyone to be any where in my opinion, especially in this day and age in which most pastors statistically only last 18 months at any church. I might have counted 20 people in attendance that morning.

On Wednesday night, I decided to venture back out to visit with the church and counted 3 people in attendance. I didn't even go inside. It was simply too discouraging for me. Instead of going home, I dropped by the next church on the street, sneaked a peek in side, and counted 5 people in attendance. I then drove down the street to a Southern Baptist church and the lights were out. I proceeded to another large SBC church only to find that on Wednesday evenings they only have a children's program.

What an absolute pathetic state the church in America is in. It is dead as a bag of hammers and totally breaks my heart; and my question is, "Why?" What has caused this? While I do not think that the answer is easy in that it is most likely many things that have contributed to it, and I can only speculate based on my experience as a pastor, teacher, and missionary. In other words, it's merely my opinion.

First, the majority of the churches in America are filled with people who are not truly born again. They are the tares among the wheat that the Lord spoke of (Matthew 13:30), and I believe that they represent the majority in the average church. They have turned our churches into childcare centers, entertainment venues, and country clubs. This is the result of the gospel not being clearly taught.

Second, many men in the pulpits are simply not called by God into the ministry. I have met and even ministered to several of them. They merely choose a career path. No doubt, they are "good" men and do indeed want to serve the Lord and their communities, but simply were not called by God to do so. As a result, they have no anointing on their ministries and are doing more harm than good.

Third, many men who have been called by God into the ministry have sold out. They no longer follow the Lord's leading, but are now coddling the "felt needs" of the aforementioned tares. As such, lest they offend, they no longer teach the Word of God, but prefer to amuse the goats instead of feeding the sheep in an attempt to gain acceptance, favor, and security.

Fourth, church members in the pews are simply too busy with the world to care. They whined about Wednesday night being a school night and the church capitulated. They then then whined about Sunday being their only day off that they can spend time with their families. The church capitulated again and canceled the evening services. The end result, most of them are carnal and look for any reason under the sun to not show up on Sunday morning.

In conclusion, the church is full of lost people and carnal Christians who are  being led by men who are not truly called to the ministry or who have sold out. Is it any wonder that the pews are empty? I think not.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Book Of Life - Revelation 17:7-11

Today, we take a look at the Book of Life, the seven mountains, and the seven kings.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Triumphal Entry, Part 4 - Luke 19:28-40

Today, we conclude our look at the Passion Week that began with the Triumphal Entry of Christ through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Triumphal Entry, Part 3 - Luke 19:28-40

Today, we continue to take a closer look at the Passion Week that began with the Triumphal Entry of Christ through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Triumphal Entry, Part 2 - Luke 19:28-40

Today, we continue to take a look at the Passion Week that began with the Triumphal Entry of Christ through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

The Trimphal Entry, Part 1 - Luke 19:28-41

Today, we take a detour to study the Passion Week that began with the Triumphal Entry of Christ through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem to the Resurrection.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Great Admiration - Revelation 17:5-6

Today, we continue to look at his woman riding the beast and why John looked at her with great astonishment.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Harlot - Revelation 17:3-4

Today, we continue to take a look at this prostitute riding upon the beast and discuss what she represents and why.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spiritual Fornication - Revelation 17:2

Today, we take a look at the false church and how it has caused and is still causing the world to commit spiritual fornication with her.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spiritual Babylon - Revelation 16:17-17:1

In today's study, we conclude chapter 16 and are introduced to a woman who sits upon many waters. Who is she? What is she?

Friday, April 7, 2017

The End Of The Tribulation, Part 2 - Revelation 16:13-16

In today's study, we continue to look at the final bowl judgments that are being poured out upon the earth that wrap up the Tribulation period.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The End Of The Tribulation, Part 1 - Revelation 16:1-12

Today, we move into chapter 16 which marks the end of the Tribulation period with the bowl judgements.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Great And Marvellous - Revelation 15

Today, we take a look at the seven angles with the seven last plagues and a closer study of the four living creatures around the throne of God.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Harvest - Revelation 14:13-20

In today's study, we wrap up chapter 14 by discussing end time events in their chronological order, and specifically, the Battle of Armageddon.