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By Pastor Paul Van Buren

 

Reading: 1 Kings 12, 13; Acts 11

 

Good day my fellow saints,

 

What a wonderfully glorious day it is today. There is a lot going on in today’s reading so we need to get right to it.

 

Peter has been called to account by the Church Council for his time with the Gentile family. His reputation is shot but Peter is not apologizing. He simply explains the vision he had and what followed in the Gentile home. We all need to thank God for Peter’s obedience. It was soon after his report that word came back that a Gentile church had formed in Antioch. If Peter had not been the first to encounter what God was doing with the Gentiles things may have looked a bit different today (not really because nothing can frustrate God’s plan but I am trying to make a point here).

 

God chose Peter because Peter had the greatest influence over the others. He also chose him because Peter was a Jew’s Jew. If he was open to this then everyone would understand that something new was going on here. So when news came in from Antioch the Church Council was not immediately opposed, instead they sent someone to investigate. Why was this significant? Because Antioch was later to become the center of the Gentile church and eventually, after the destruction of Jerusalem, the center of the entire church. It was also to be Paul’s training ground. It was through Paul that our modern church received its understanding and teaching, most of which is found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. This is a significant moment you are reading about here and an example of what God is willing to accomplish through faithful servants.

 

This is in contrast to what we read in the Old Testament part of our reading today. Solomon is dead and his son loses the united kingdom because of the arrogance of his youth, but this is actually God’s will. God sets up another king to lead Israel while Solomon’s son leads the tribe of Judah. This was decided by God after Solomon started worshipping other gods. I remind you of the covenant God made with Jeroboam before he became king of Israel, while Solomon was still king of a united kingdom:

 

However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel.  If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.  I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’ " (1 Kings 11:37-39)

 

All Jeroboam had to do was obey God. But Jeroboam became a fake king who set up a fake religion. From day one he showed that his only concern was to maintain a power that God had already promised him. He feared the people going back to Solomon’s son if they went to the temple in Jerusalem to make sacrifices to God. So he created two golden calves, re-wrote history to say that this god brought them out of Egypt and then set up two places for sacrifices. All this to simply keep the people from going to Jerusalem.

 

Hmmm… I wonder if we could draw any parallels to our current age where they continue to re-write history to suit their own designs. They are very good at removing the motivation behind some of the great heroes of history, the motivation of the founding of nations, the motivation of great inventions and discoveries. They would try to remove from the history books those great moments when these people decided to trust God and walk in obedience. Their motivation? To make it as simple as possible let us say, to free everyone from God’s righteousness so they may have the freedom to live as sinfully as they desire. And it’s working. But we are not called to this. We cannot do much about a society bent on destruction, but we can do something about you and me.

 

This brings us to the story within the story. There was a prophet who was sent to warn Jeroboam. He was given exact instructions neither to eat food or drink water in this place nor to return by the route he came. He was following these instructions when he was cut off by another prophet who lied to him. This second prophet was lonely for godly company so he lied to get the first prophet to stay. He led this man into sin and into his death.

 

This is a huge warning to us. As society re-writes its own history, rules and laws there are some Christians who are going along with it. They lack the understanding or fortitude to stand in God’s holiness and righteousness and in turn they are trying to convince others to come along with them. They pass themselves off as teachers as they try to re-write the Word of God. But God’s Word is eternal and never changes. True followers of Jesus confess that their first citizenship is in the Kingdom of God not the society of man and the true follower lives by the holy Word of God not the twisted words of man.

 

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

 

All of this describes the times we live in but none any better than the last part, “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.” Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Anything for self-gratification, including the re-writing of laws and history. We need to be sure of our God, of who we are in our God and to resist the voice of the multitude of wannabe Christians who are thinking there is safety in numbers. We serve a Holy God who requires obedience from his people:

 

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:10-16)

 

It’s time to take back the Church for the glory of God. It is time for us to stand on the mountain top and cry out repentance to our brothers and sisters who are justifying themselves with a fake religion that has been set up to serve man. It is time for us all to submit ourselves to God and allow him to purify us again. Let us choose today to walk in obedience as Peter did, regardless of the cost, and see what God will cause to happen to this beautiful Bride we call the Church.  I have chosen to walk in the WAY of Jesus. I am a follower of the King of all glory and I will show my love to him in my obedience to his commands. Join me my brothers and sisters. Let us seek the holy face of the God of Jacob.

 

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

 

I encourage you to join Awesome MSN Spaces and let your faith be shown!

 

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Comments on: "Shall We Say Black Is Now White?" (56)

  1. It\’s amazing how some people come and make comments in such a way that it is completely offensive and then get offended when I delete them. They don\’t even post a link to their space. What are they afraid of?There is a God and He does love you despite your attitude.The fool says in his heart there is no God!

  2. No, I guess you just don\’t get it. Rudness is doesn\’t give you the right to post on this space. I don\’t fear satan. He\’s a loser who was defeated at the cross.

  3. MadCatz said:

    I fear the repercussions of my sayings. Christians happen to be very zelotist when making come backs, but very well… because you asked me nicley I will leave my blog space address. Please pardon the spelling mistakes and grammer, Its not top notch.

  4. SandmanNot all believer\’s in Christ are going to push their faith on you. What I believe is found here on my space. To believe or not to believe is your choice. All I can tell you is that Christ died for you and loves you. You can take it or leave it.

  5. MadCatz said:

    realize how many cultists begin to say that they died for all of us? if you look back with a modest mind, you really begin to see jesus was similer to many cult leaders, and really if it wasnt emperor constantine, christianity would not have been as big as it is today. Its all a matter of who got power when.

  6. AntitrustOysterOk, so how many actually ever rose from the dead? How many of them can you actually have a relationship with?How many of them can you converse with and have them answer you? How many of them fulfilled every single prophecy concerning their life?The Way didn\’t start with Constantine. What Constantine did was more harm than good. He declared that everyone within the Roman Empire Christians and declared it as the pfficial state religion. Before that The Way was growing quite well without his help. The previous emporers tried to stamp it out by persecution but it didn\’t work.

  7. Unknown said:

    I love your space, I just came across it the other day. I\’d write more but I was just on my way out to the mall as I was browsing again today heh. I will always be reading.God bless you :)~ ~

  8. Stephen said:

    I\’ve never said there is no God. But what I say right now is the man without humility is a fool indeed.Are you telling me that if I leave my space\’s address you\’re not going to inundate me with mails trying to \’save my soul\’?? Please understand, I grew up with people like you and I find your narrow viewpoint scary. Don\’t believe me? Your latest blog entry begins with \’My fellow saints….\’ Don\’t you think this is a lot of "patting each other on the back", exalting each other\’s faith, when Jesus himself preached humility?? Is it up to you or others to call yourself saints? Didn\’t Jesus walk into a room full of Pharisees and stir up their belief system? By being too convicted in your beliefs, and moreso endlessly quoting scripture, I fear you\’re teaching people how to be pharisees. I don\’t think you should derive your self-worth from your own faith in your salvation. I think it would be better to accept a certain amount uncertainty behind \’the truth\’ and meanwhile, do some good deeds for others (like work in a soup kitchen), and hope that on the day you leave this world, that God will admire your humility, not your self-righteousness.Tell you what – you keep my post on your space, and I\’ll return later to give you my email address. My whole point is that you make huge statements, yet won\’t allow debate. This implies that you aren\’t accountable. That\’s not faith – that\’s brainwashing. If you know your faith to be the truth, then you should have no trouble defending it.

  9. This is a awsome page.

  10. There is so much here!Talk about staying connected.I didn\’t ask, but your in my connedted list!it would be great if you put a link on you page.MAY GOD BLESS YOU INDEED

  11. StephanoYou are full of a lot of misconceptions. First of all, maybe some do, but not all followers of The Way go to others spaces and push our views on them. My space stands as a beacon for those who are looking for hope. If you choose not to believe that’s your prerogative. I can’t force you to do anything. But I do ask that you respect our beliefs.The Catholic church coined the term “saints” to elevate people who have died to a position that is non-biblical. A biblical saint is any follower of The Way who has surrendered his life over to Christ. Biblical saints are those who are living, not dead. Paul wrote in Phillipians 1:1; Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons. He was writing to actual people.As far as patting each other on the back is concerned Paul also said in 1 Thessalonians 5:11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. There is nothing wrong with encouraging each other. If people in the world would do that with each other this world be much different.It is so easy to judge another when you don’t know the whole story isn’t it? The pharisees were pharisees because they boasted about their good works. They put a heavy burden on other Jews that most weren’t able to bear. They were hypocrites in the fact that they told people what to do and they lived just the opposite.Followers of The Way know that they are not perfect. That all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We realize that we are frail human beings who without Christ would be just like everyone else. It is Christ that makes us different. We fail everyday, but we know we have found forgiveness through the blood of Christ.Let me ask you. How would you know our church doesn’t have a soup kitchen? How would you know that we don’t do all we can to help those in need? You don’t.

  12. MadCatz said:

    The truth is though, alot of christians believe that the faith they follow is right and that all others are sent to hell. More so with homosexuals. Whats wrong with being gay? the answer is nothing. If god created man, he created homosexuality. Wether or not your a bigot, there still are alot of others. I admire how you stay true to your faith and how you still seem rather polite in this whole ordeal. I must admit talking with you is much more rewarding then with others on the internet.

  13. Unknown said:

    We send ourselves to Hell, God doesn\’t send us to Hell.. God doesn\’t want mindless robots that are forced to love Him, He gives us a choice. We can choose Him, or we can choose not to follow Him. And when we die, He must *honor* our free will, and if we chose to deny Him in life, we will spend an eternity in seperation from Him. He gives every person ample opportunity to accept Him, even people who have died earlier in their lives than expected will have had every opportunity.. As for God creating *everything*.. well, I\’m afraid God doesn\’t necessarily create everything we have with a flick of His finger.. He created us, He gave us free will, and human beings take that free will and twist and pervert God\’s world into things He never made it into. But that is the price of freewill.. Did God create homosexuality? I think man did that on his own… Did God create deadly weapons? Nope, man again, screwing things up as usual. We have free will, intelligence, the ability to grow and learn.. and though some people put that to good Godly use, others squander their free will and twist the world in ways that are unnatural, dangerous, deadly, hateful.. etc etc etc.~ ~

  14. Rosemary said:

    Yeah Martin Luther, Yeah John Calvin…..Gerry you are a living saint! Sorry to all who think being gay is okay…God created MAN and WOMAN FOR the man…read FOR again…if He thought it was okay to be gay, he would have created man and man…and don\’t forget what he did to Sodom and Gomorrah…Genesis 19…He was not too thrilled with them..Just remember, Christians LOVE gay people too, just not the act…Love the sinner, not the sin.

  15. Unknown said:

    amen GlancingSusan. God created Man, and said it was not good for man to be alone, and created Woman for the man. And there are many areas in the bible speaking out against men lying with men / women with women as being unnatural. Men taking to men over the natural use of the woman for him.. woman taking to woman over the natural use of the man for her.. neither is right, it was indeed woman who was created for man.~ ~

  16. AntitrustOysterTo say that God created the homosexual would be saying that God created sin. He did not. Sin came in when men fell. We do not hate homosexuals and we can’t change them. Only God can. If they want to live that way, that is their choice. My problem with them is when they try to force their agenda upon us. For instance forcing a pastor to marry a gay couple even if it’s against his convictions. That’s wrong.

  17. MadCatz said:

    Gerry truly you, a man who despite our conflicts, a man of great wisdom, can realize that there is a thing called true love. We all know love exists. Now why is it so hard to believe that love is excluded to same gender couples? if you loved some one, would you find it rational to be exposed to hate for some acts that you and your loved one perform? I would think you would be very displeased, and that’s what I am trying to say. Its not nice to call what people do a sin, because they’re merely doing something that shows love.

  18. Chantelle said:

    so now your\’re calling people that dont believe in God fools. and well i cant speak for everyone, but i can say for myself, i dont want you to push your beleifs on me. peopel can beleive whatever they want. just because one person says its right doesnt make it right.

  19. Unknown said:

    It is not by the mouth of any human being that makes faith in Christ right. It is by the Word of God. And humans do not change hearts.. God does. We are simply the catalysts..And just as you say just because we say its right doesn\’t make it right? So is the same for you, just because you say its wrong, doesn\’t make it wrong. Just because a person says there are multiple ways to God and that they do not need Christ, doesn\’t make it true. You cannot give advice without also applying it to yourself.~ ~

  20. Unknown said:

    Oh, Gerry thanks for the comment on my page, yes I would love to be linked with the others taking a stand for Christ :)God bless!(made this comment on the wrong post, oy, so I posted it again here hehe, forgive me for the double post)~ ~

  21. MadCatz said:

    alright, if you say you cannot say something without applying it to myself, alright. Oh before I do, why dont you you hipicrits. what the hell is wrong with you two? saying that just because i think that when two people love eachother it shouldnt be wrong, and you tell me just because i say its right doesnt make it right? listen bub, just because YOU say its wrong doesnt mean its WRONG. I dont care if the whole lot of you say its wrong. Enstine was said to be disproven by thousands of german scientists in a book. He said himself, if he was wrong it should only take one person to say so. Now thats what I am saying. Homosexuality is an imbalence of hormones in ones system. And you people have the nerve to say man intentionally chose this? oh please, if you think a man WANTS to make love to another man, so he chooses that life style, your very wrong. Many of my friends are bi-sexual and gay, my girl friend is bi-sexual. She didnt choose that life, but she simply thinks love has no bounds. And she is very right.

  22. Unknown said:

    Zero, everything you say includes an insult, not something that we have been doing. You really have to calm down and take a step back before you start shouting "hypocrit" at everyone. Chill.You are right, just because we say it, doesn\’t make it wrong. But as I already said.. it is not our word, but God\’s word, that we follow.You really need to calm down. You lose all credibility by giving insults with your statements (as you did on my space, your post has been removed because I do not tolerate that kind of thing in any respect, but if you want to have a calm respectful discussion then feel free). It will take a hundred calm statements to undo a single insult.. when you make an insult, you completely unravel the foundation of your debate or discussion point.Try making some posts that don\’t involve insulting everyone 🙂 Because right now I think the majority of people aren\’t even taking you seriously.. you are just someone who is shouting "I\’m right! I\’m right! I\’m right!" like a child. Christians are not shouting "I\’m right" but are rather telling that "God is right, seek His word, follow His word". I don\’t want you to follow ME. I am no prophet. Follow the Lord.I respect the way you think, feel, and believe.. I respect you as a human being. But I also must follow the Word of God.. not man\’s word. Your words are of man.. my words are of man.. it is the Word of God we must follow at all costs.~ ~

  23. MadCatz said:

    So any way, I think I will return here to comment regularly but I will be holding the insults. I will try to control myself, if I can do that maybe this will make for more interesting conversations.

  24. I don\’t believe in god, its all rubbish to make people play nice. It\’s sad that people need to believe in a divine spirit in order to be nice to each other, but whatever floats your boat, I suppose.

  25. The truth is that in western society today what poeple call love is not love at all but lust. Love is an action verb. It is not a feeling. You choose to love someone. If you look at many marriages today they fall apart after the feelings are gone. Love says I choose to love this person for the rest of my life for richer or poor, in sicknees and in health til death do us part.If a person all of a sudden declares that they love their dog and they want to marry it as is happening in India right now, does that make it right? It\’s called beastiality and it is an un-natural affection. It is caused by lust. That person chooses to follow that lust.In Romans 1:26-31 twenty-three punishable sins are listed with homosexuality leading the list. Paul wrote, "For this cause God gave them up into vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet" (Romans 1:26, 27). These verses are telling us that homosexuals suffer in their body and personality the inevitable consequences of their wrong doing. Notice that the behaviour of the homosexual is described as a "vile affection" (1:26). The Greek word translated "vile" (atimia) means filthy, dirty, evil, dishonourable. The word "affection" in Greek is pathos, used by the Greeks of either a good or bad desire. Here in the context of Romans it is used in a bad sense. The "vile affection" is a degrading passion, a shameful lust. Both the desire (lusting after) and the act of homosexuality are condemned in the Bible as sin. Again we don\’t hate homosexuals, but we can\’t agree with their lifestyles.

  26. MadCatz said:

    Okay, its just I am not saying we all have to be a homosexual, it\’s just I believe love has no bounds, and that no old scripts are going to prevent me from loving some one. I believe you are right with lust, some times acting on lust is very bad. But some times love is in the oddest places. Doggies are pets and friends, not wives or husbands. But I think that if you love some one, and it is LOVE not lust, then to be with them is only natural.

  27. Stephen said:

    Gerry, isn\’t it interesting when you open things up for discussion? I can now see why you \’censor\’ posts, when things get a little out of hand and a little personal / defensive. Yes, these types of posts are not always constructive. But what I would always like to point out with what I see here as "Christian Fundamentalism", (Your site falls into this category whether you accept that or not.) is that I\’m concerned over how hasty you can be to draw conclusions from what you read in the bible and furthermore, life after death. There are many aspects of the bible that are debatable, and this is why people take theology class. You cannot take the bible for literal truth because of a few factors: i) It is open to interpretation like any piece of literature,ii) It has been translated numerous times, thereby obscuring the meaning. For example:I could say to you "I want to bum a fag." and you might think I\’m talking about homosexuality. Actually, in British English I just asked you if I could have a cigarette. I get a little perturbed when people discuss \’the Way\’, because as all Christian denominations do, they interpret the bible differently (otherwise it goes to reason that there would be one Christian church, one denomination). Therefore as far as I can go with respect to your website is to agree that the path to salvation involves having to love and accept God as the one who created us, and to bring the teachings of Jesus into your heart, thereby loving your neighbour as God loves you. We are all searching for truth I would think. The difference between us is that I believe there\’s more digging to do, whereas you are happy with what you have accepted to be the truth, whether absolute or not.I\’ll finish with a quote from Einstein, which is "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." The path to uncover \’truth\’ lies with scientific proof – not \’can i prove that god exists\’ but to use science to give insight into the \’absolute truth\’ that is claimed to exist. I could go on for a while, but one last post on the topic of homosexuality… there are quite a lot of compelling studies that indicate that homosexuality is not a manifestation of your environment (ie. you CHOOSE to be gay) but rather, it can be shown that people are \’born gay\’. Anyway, thank you for putting up with my harsh criticisms, and allowing alternate viewpoints to exist on your site. I was very much surprised.

  28. Captain Kate said:

    there is no god. if there is, he doesnt love you. and yes im well aware im going to a hell of a sort if this place isnt hell enough.

  29. chiramThere is a God and He does love you. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for you so that you wouldn\’t have to face hell. I don\’t want to see you go there. Turn to Jesus, you will find He is real and does care.

  30. Stephano,I hope you don\’t mind if I step in here a bit. You seem to be pretty open and you confess a desire to go deeper, to learn more. You also seem pretty well educated, which is not always a great think when looking for truth. 😎 (That\’s the softening up part so that you lower your defenses and now I can go in with the killer punch.)Actually, no killer punch. Allow me to qoute you and then respond:"There are many aspects of the bible that are debatable, and this is why people take theology class. You cannot take the bible for literal truth because of a few factors: i) It is open to interpretation like any piece of literature,ii) It has been translated numerous times, thereby obscuring the meaning." On the surface this seems like an intelligent way of looking at things and in many respects you are correct. However, you leave God out of your argument. God is the protector of his Word and those who did the work were centered on him and guided by the Spirit. The Word can only be seen one way, God\’s way. You can try to approach it from an intellectual perspective but without the Holy Spirit\’s interpretation it could only be seen as a text book. God\’s Word is a living Word and its many layers of deth are revealled as each believer matures in their faith. The problem is who people, like Gerry, are tied in trying to present it to non-believers. His perspective is different because he is no longer like someone without Jesus. He is a new creation and his perspective is hopefully from an eternal point of view. Some problems occur when people, who are no teachers, try to teach something they themselves do not yet understand.You wrote:"I get a little perturbed when people discuss \’the Way\’, because as all Christian denominations do, they interpret the bible differently (otherwise it goes to reason that there would be one Christian church, one denomination). Therefore as far as I can go with respect to your website is to agree that the path to salvation involves having to love and accept God as the one who created us, and to bring the teachings of Jesus into your heart, thereby loving your neighbour as God loves you."Again you are so very close in your understanding and yet so far from the mark. There is only one way and that is Jesus. If this is not true then Jesus is a liar and the whole thing is crock (which some here would say AMEN! to, but they would be wrong). There is suppose to be one Church but man got in there and messed around with power and things got messed up (putting it as intelligently as possible). Many people went in various directions because of what the Word calls, "disputable" matters, things we should have avoided discussing together. The fact is that the Church is made up of various levels of maturity. If we could grasp Ephesians 4 then we would be able to start moving in the right direction in "unity of faith and knowledge" concerning Jesus Christ. It is more than accepting God, as you say. You must accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, his death as the means of salvation , and his resurrection as the way to eternity. Once you have accepted him as Lord then you must obey his commands and this from a heart of sincere love. You wrote:"We are all searching for truth I would think. The difference between us is that I believe there\’s more digging to do, whereas you are happy with what you have accepted to be the truth, whether absolute or not."I think you have misunderstood Gerry. It is true that we know that we have found the truth, but there is a difference in finding the truth and understanding the truth. A follower of Jesus knows that they must never be satisfied in what they have learned because it is a constant growing in maturity of understanding. We are also open to the constant teaching we receive from the Spirit. Most of us will tell you that we a lifetime of learning ahead of us. However, we are strong believers in absolutes; there is an absolute truth just as there is an absolute evil. There is an absolute light as there is absolute darkness.You wrote:"I\’ll finish with a quote from Einstein, which is "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." The path to uncover \’truth\’ lies with scientific proof – not \’can i prove that god exists\’ but to use science to give insight into the \’absolute truth\’ that is claimed to exist."The only problem I have with the quote is his use of the word religion. There are those who have used man\’s regulations to turn Christianity into a religion, but it is no religion. A living relationship with the Creator is not a thing of religion. I see no problem in your use of science in this manner but when you you become reliant on this instead of the faith that God requires, then you have just turned science into a religion (which most of us already know it is). The Word says that everything that does not come from faith is sin. Simple.Your wrote:"I could go on for a while, but one last post on the topic of homosexuality… there are quite a lot of compelling studies that indicate that homosexuality is not a manifestation of your environment (ie. you CHOOSE to be gay) but rather, it can be shown that people are \’born gay\’."That\’s okay, we were all born liars as well, but we still have to confess it and rely on God to overcome it in us, along with all the other characteristics of our sinful nature. Sin is sin, doesn\’t matter what it is and we were all born with it. Thus the reason for the cross. So, I hope I have helped answer your questions. Don\’t forget the three things Jesus said he is; the Way, the TRUTH and the Life. The truth is pretty well the key thing here. God bless and have a life-changing Sunday filled with all the passion we can manage for Jesus.

  31. So Antitrustoyster,Are you saying that if you love your sister you should have a sexual relationship with her? What about your daughter? Or would you suggest a son? If there is no boundaries then you are saying that there is no end to the possibilities?Just looking for clarification (and trying to help you see a little clearer).

  32. Unknown said:

    Dear Chiram..This world is not hell. And if it feels that way, it is mainly because you are seperated from God, just as you would be in actual hell.. except *real* hell is beyond any words I could ever try to use to explain what it would be like. This world is NOT hell. Not even close.God loves you dearly and He wants you to be happy in the life He has given you. He did not place you here to be miserable.. What harm is there in trying to have that relationship with Him? You have given up on God by the sounds of it. So if you have given up, there is really no harm in trying anything at this point is there? Look deep, *deep* in your heart.. happiness awaits in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Accept Him into your life, you have *nothing* to lose and *everything* to gain. But you must do so honestly and completely. Not all who cry "Lord Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt.7:21).. that is a big mistake some people make, they say the words but do not mean it with their heart, do not open themselves completely to God.. they think that the words are all that it takes, but its more. Its giving yourself over to Jesus, letting God rule in your life. *Accepting* Him in completely, not just calling on Him lightly.*Accept* Jesus, and watch your life change completely.~ ~

  33. Stephen said:

    OK OK the time has come to spill a bit of history…First I would like to say thanks to \’GodsJackofallTrades\’ because here is a person who wants to meet a person on their level and discuss things in a way that they can understand. Not the typical \’Here is a bible, show me your throat, I am going to shove, this will only hurt until you stop crying… don\’t worry, you can cry, Jesus loves you…\’ Very much appreciated. I\’d like to be able to address everything you wrote, but won\’t right now. Perhaps I\’ll write you at your blog to be in contact.Actually second (of firsts..), ummm, I will end up speaking about Kannouteki_Kharma as a \’template\’ of people I have known in the past, and not specifically her. What I mean by that are the people who can just quote verses in your face, not fully understand what they are talking about, but will spew it at you regardless. (To be fair, she must understand *something* in her heart, obviously, but she assumes that it\’s as easily understood as she understands it) She needs to understand that quoting verses to non-christians to \’get them to understand\’ is as futile as me quoting the Koran to her…Let me tell you where my apprehensiveness is towards people I have been calling "Fundamentalists" often affiliated with this site. I have been through everything all of you have explained to me. I\’ve been there. I\’ve worshipped, I\’ve cried, I\’ve accepted Jesus. (What? How could this be? And I\’m not with him still, you ask? Then you mustn\’t have experienced it! Yes yes, heard it.) I\’ve been to youth groups, youth camps, worship conferences, and I even played in the band! I\’ve led the band on occasions. Yes, I\’ve led a congregation in worship. But this is meaningless, I know that. However, if I ever knew Jesus, it was at this time. I can\’t tell you or have you understand how real or significant that was to me, so before you go onward christian soldiers, with your defences, do not try to propose that it wasn\’t a real or truly spiritual experience. But you know, I know the power of the mind and the incredible things it can convince itself of. I have seen numerous people who were \’saved\’ one day decide that \’no, that\’s all a bit contrived\’, and they walked away from it. To a great extent I have always wanted to know Jesus the way I see other people seem to know him but you know, I really don\’t think he speaks to me, and I\’m not going to fool myself otherwise. If I\’m to have a relationship with God, then God knows the core of me and will know how to speak to me, especially if I have my ears open. But I\’m getting to the point that to me it all seems a bit contrived. I stopped believing like the person in the pew beside me does, because you know what? There is a tremendous amount of hipocrisy in the church. I came to the point where it seemed that people forget that we are saved by grace alone, and would start looking judgmentally at their peers. For instance, I once turned up at a Youth group in a Led Zeppelin T-Shirt, and I got \’those looks\’ from people, as if \’I was falling away\’ when really, as a musician, they are just a group of talented people, you know, all sinful yet all God\’s creation, just like the rest of us.Do you know in life, how many people try to tear down the person near them, so to feel better about themselves? Quite often, and I\’ve observed the same thing goes on in the church in some \’quest to be holiest\’, which i truly find nauseating. Christians are meant to be the least judgmental people on earth, but they end up being the most. Would somebody care to explain that, without quoting me the verse about telling your neighbour to remove the plank from their eye before they criticise the other for having a speck in theirs? But in plain english?I couldn\’t represent anything that has such hipocrisy and self-righteousness. If I have a relationship with God, it\’s personal. It\’s between Him and me. If other people are doing their thing, living their life, then good for them. I don\’t want to place any judgment on how others live their lives, but if I can help an old lady across the street, buy a homeless guy a sandwich, or just comfort somebody when they have emotional pain, then I will. And if I die, and am at the pearly gates, and God looks down at me for that behaviour, after everything I\’ve experienced (and He knows I\’ve experienced) then that\’s the day I learn the true definition of compassion and forgiveness I guess…I can\’t possibly communicate in a text box this small all the things I have thought about, all the holes I have poked through \’The Way\’ to find unanswered questions, or disappointments. I once saw a T-Shirt that said "Jesus, save me from your disciples!!" and I really can\’t think of a more relevant thing to quote here.

  34. Stephano,Wow! Such unreserved open honesty. I understand a little better now so I thank you. If I am hearing you correctly you are saying that your struggle is not in the accepting of Jesus and God\’s Word but is the practical application of it in people\’s lives in what we call the Church. In fact, it would seem by what you have written that your experience in the Church has not been a good one and you have become disillusioned with the whole thing. Then let me be the first to apologize to you. We have let you down.People often get disillusioned with the Church because they want to see the ideals of Jesus lived out. They want to see this great love in action. They want to experience God\’s love, forgiveness and grace from God\’s people. The challenge is that being a follower of Jesus is not about living a strict code, it is about relationship. However, many who call themselves Christian never enter into that relationship, instead they approach God like the Jews and Muslums, trying to adhere to certain laws. This may have the appearance of godliness but it does nothing for real change in the heart and mind.There is also the maturity factor. People who have stopped growing in their maturity tend to devour young Christians. Let\’s just saw that there are a whole bunch of problems in what God has intended to be a beautiful place of prayer, love, instruction and great friendships. But just because we have people who are messing it up doesn\’t mean that we should walk away from it (and I agree that in many places it all seems a bit contrived). Obviously you know the Word but I hope you will not mind me qouting a little something so you can understand the ideal I hold to:"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God\’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)This is the Church as it should be functioning. The key for me is the bit about "unity in faith and KNOWLEDGE of the Son of Good", because this is what leads to maturity and attaining that fullness. The place we are falling down is in what is being taught to followers of Jesus. Mostly baby food and very little that prepares God\’s people for works of service. Churches play at it to keep people coming in. We have a little plastic Jesus, a little plastic church and little plastic lives. So, so far we agree on the state of things.However, be honest with yourself. Is some of this feeling about the Church contrived on your part to find an excuse not to go deeper with the Lord. Its easy staying on the surface of things but when the Holy Spirit starts calling us to go deeper then we discover we are not who we thought we were and there many things in us that still have to do. May I qoute again:"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:14-16) This kind of forum is frustrating because it limits the discussion, there is so much more in the verses that follow. The fact is, as followers of Jesus, our entire motivation must be a truthful love that causes us to seek more from Jesus. There is no place for condemnation in the Church, only love and support. It also means that there is no place for judging the young or old, the wise or dumb. If a brother falls we help him up, all in the process of seeking more from Jesus.I have known the Church all my life. I saw it one way as a child, another as a teenager, another as an adult and yet another as a pastor. I left it for a year as a teenager seeking for other things, until the Lord met me in my bedroom one day, revealed to me that he was real, allowed me to experience that love, and I have been an staunch believer in the ideal Church ever since. If we stop holding out the ideals then people will stop desiring to move towards them.Stephano, I am a father of 8 great kids, a pastor a great church, we have a small school, i look after a small orchard; what am I doing "wasting" time on the internet in this silly Spaces? Don\’t I have enough to do? Yes, but I also know that there a many people who feel the same as you do, who are disillusioned by the failure of Christians. It is because of these centuries of ills that I avoid the word Christian and use follower of Jesus. But I spend my time wanting to meet people like you so that I can say that there is more. Don\’t give up. Run away from the contrived and seek the reality of God and his people.You know I am in agreement with you about the whole scripture shouting stuff. That is why God gave us "signs and wonders" so that the unsaved will know that he is real. But greater yet are those "works of service" done in the love of Jesus.Stephano, I am sorry that you have had to go through this. I apologize because it means that people like me have failed to do what we were set aside to do. But please, don\’t give up. There is so much more.

  35. Oops. Stepheno, sorry for your misspelled name.

  36. Unknown said:

    GUYS GUYS GUYS ! PRAY FOR MY MATE STUEY TONIGHT. I HAVE ASKED HIM IF HE IS READY TO ACCEPT JESUS INTO HIS HEART AND LIVE FOR HIM. HE IS THINKING ABOUT IT SERIOUSLY AND I FEEL THAT TONIGHT MAY VERY WELL BE HIS NIGHT!! PRAY GUYS =D PRAY! love clairegod bless

  37. Hi StephenoPastor Paul or GodsJackOfAllTrades is my Pastor and I felt he needed to talk to you. I have been under his leadership for the last 3 years. He lives what he believes and has been a great example to me. I would like to share more with you later today when I get back from church. Stepheno, I have to be honest I like you. Most people want to come in here and just argue. I\’m not into arguing. It really turns me off. But you have come here and have talked reasonalbly. So, Talk to you later.

  38. MadCatz said:

    In relation to some questions, no I would not have brother and sister love eachother, for the love that they share must be part of the family unit. Its wrong in our eyes because we have done it one way for so long, that breaking that is taboo. That is true. But what I am saying is that Homosexuals do feel love for one another. I say that, one can love a sister, but only as a sister. Why? because first, its in all honesty messed up. One family unit is supposed to branch out and find more to welcome into the fold. If two members of the same family unit were together, the family tree… well it would look fairly messed up.But, for two men or two women to love and care about each other, that in my eyes is alright. I know that people have said, that love between is not love but lust, and some times that’s true with straight couples. But love does exist between same gender couples. From a scientific standpoint, it makes sense. Hormones control attraction, and say if one child during its time in the womb, had a little problem, and those hormones came out different. Now that child will be gay because its attractions are different. True that hormone attractions are indeed lust. But (and here is the kicker) the same thing is true for straight couples. Hormones are the little person in all of us that wants another person, some times many others. But its control and self teaching that allows us to love without lust. Truly the Christian faith is renown for that fact, but it does exist within other couples.Sorry for the science lesson and please inform me if I am wrong. But I took several science lessons in school, so I am fairly certain I am right on this.

  39. Hi StephenoWhen I first started this space it was with the intention of working with other believers toward strengthening the body and teaching them about worship. But I was shocked at the amount of non-believers that started visiting this space. It also bothered me a lot of the things they had to say about the way some believers had treated them.We as believers sometimes forget what it was like for you before we completely surrendered to Christ. To me the bible was all Chinese. I couldn’t really understand all that it was talking about. I thought it had some nice sayings and stuff but I understood books on horoscopes more than I did the bible. On the night I gave my heart to Christ, I took down my grandfathers old bible and began to read it. All of a sudden it made sense, It seemed every word just came alive. Nobody had coached me. Oh I went to Sunday school when I was a kid and heard all the nice little bible stories. But nobody really explained things. When I say it’s a living book it really is. I have been following Christ now for almost 25 years now. I have been hurt myself many times by some who called themselves Christians. I had an almost an entire church turn against me because I stood up for the truth. I have been disabled for almost 13 years now. I also lost my wife to mental illness 12 years ago and have raised my 2 children on my own for the last 11. I have been through so much and yet God has always met me there and sustained me. There have been times when I have yelled and screamed at Him for what was going on in my life and He always comes back at me with a gentleness when I expected wrath.I have felt Him enter into my room when I was at the lowest and wrap me in His loving presence. I long for all that is Him. I desire to go deeper and know Him in greater measure.There have been times when I have not felt Him at all and it has required faith.I have been very fortunate in that God placed men and women who are true examples of what a believer is supposed to be. They wouldn’t hesitate to give up what they have so that others may benefit. One of them even threatened to break down my door one day because I was in a deep depression and wouldn’t talk to anyone. He told me that it was because of Christ’s love that he wasn’t going to let me go through this any longer. He came and prayed with me and I was set free from depression that day and have never faced it again.Never have I felt as loved as I do now and you know what makes me even more secure? It is that they are not afraid to tell me when I slip up.I was thinking about what you said about the Led Zeppelin shirt. I’m sorry that had to happen to you. I was one of the biggest Led Zeppelin fans you could ever meet. They used to be my favourite band. As far as I was concerned they were pretty unmatched in their music. When I became a believer I had to let go of them because they had become an idol to me. I also learned of Jimmy Page’s involvement in the occult. But this is my conviction. I know of some Christians who still listen to them, but that doesn’t mean they are going to hell because of it. I choose not to listen to non-Christian music because as a worship leader I need may talents focussed on music that glorifies God.Like Pastor Paul, I apologize for the way some have treated you. Don’t give up on God Stepheno. He will never give up on you. There are true believers out there. I am not one of those who is going to spam your space and send you all kinds of email telling you to get right with God. I can’t do a thing to change anyone. I can’t change you or anybody else. Only God can do that. But it also takes your will and God will never force himself on you.

  40. Antitrustoyster,I don\’t mean to be disrespectful in this reply but … was there suppose to be a science lesson in your comment? What a read is a bunch of opinions that is not founded by any scientific that I can read in your response. It sounds more like opinions and guess work.I also cannot see any clear argument in your dismissal of my question concerning other wrong relationships, ie, brother and sister. If a brother/sister relationship would mess up a family tree and fail to bring in other familt genes to strengthen in teh family gene pool what would two males aor two females do to a family? Sounds pretty messed up but it is all a lame argument anyway.The Biblical fact is that man is born with a sinful nature. This leads him into all kinds of messy situations. Just because your hormones are attracted to a dog doesn\’t mean you should marry the dog (way extreme example to make a point, sorry for the extreme). Just because a man is attracted to a man does not mean it is natural or right. Just because I think I should have a neighbour\’s car doesn\’t mean I have a right to take it. Just because I am attracted to my neighbour\’s daughter doesn\’t make it right or natural.Sin is still sin no matter how you dress it up. Go ahead, decide to live in that condition. It is your choice. But for God it is still wrong no matter what you think. But even this cannot be understood without first knowing Jesus so the argument is futile. I cannot convince you because you do not have my perspective of the Holy Spirit. You cannot convince me because I know I MUST walk according to God\’s righteousness not man\’s.

  41. Rosemary said:

    AntritustOysterget a life

  42. Stephen said:

    Hi Gerry,i thank you again for being patient with my initial rants, and my now more placid tone. One thing that has stumped about God\’s love is that you say people have to seek it. Then what\’s up with the story of the Apostle Paul? He was pretty much Godsmacked on the road one day, no? So why do I have to seek it if God knows how to appeal to me?Anyway, the other thing I personally consider, is in relation to your story where God set you free from depression. At some point I often wonder if what you experienced is purely a matter of human resolve, and not actually God. I mean, there are many types of people all over the world, who believe in many sorts of things, who have all had similar situations, yet they might overcome them to achieve the same result (ie. no longer depressed) but the way they got there was different, and may in fact not have involved God. So I have always been curious as to what extent the relationship with God is purely a mental construct, so to make one\’s life feel more significant and/or meaningful. Again, because all sorts of people believe all sorts of things, yet are all convinced they know the truth, and therefore have contentment in their every day life. Food for thought.Whether we have convinced each other of anything, or bent somehwat to the point of view of each other, hasn\’t it been a very interesting couple of days??Thanks and take care,Stepheno

  43. Unknown said:

    PRAISE JESUS!!! Just thought I should let you all know that last night was indeed Stu\’s night! He came to Jesus last night!!! PRAISE JESUS!!!God bless you alllove claire

  44. Chrystal said:

    Question, If (Your And Your Fellow Christains)"god" Is All Powerful Then Why IS He So Insecure That His Followers Can\’t Even Think About Worsiping Another God

  45. Chrystal said:

    Sorry Me Again, I Forgot Something… This Is A Serious Question, I Am Not Makeing Fun Of You Or Judgeing You. I Would Appreciate It IF You Anwesered My Question.\\thankyou,Mortisha

  46. Hi StephenoA lot of the times when a person seeks God, God will meet him or her halfway. In the case of Paul, he knew God already and was very zealous in applying the law as set forth in the Old Testament. He truly believed he was doing God’s work by persecuting the followers of Jesus. But that all changed on the road to Damascus. God still does do that to some people today.But God says; If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. Jeremiah 29:13It has to be an act of our will. Like I said God will not force Himself upon you.Yes I was delivered from depression, but that’s not all. When I was 24 I developed a swelling in my right hand which at first I thought was caused by a sprain. It turned out to be rheumatoid arthritis. It soon went on to affect both hands my jaw and my legs. My hands became disfigured and my jaw closed up to a quarter of an inch. After I accepted Christ into my life I went to healing service at a church. The pastor asked those who were suffering from arthritis to stand and he was going to pray for us. I just believed and God healed my hands and jaw. My hands today are perfectly normal. The doctor’s can’t explain it as all the disfigurement was gone.There are so many examples I could give you. A woman in our church who was 2 or 3 months pregnant was told that her baby was dead. It was confirmed by others doctors as well. But this woman refused to believe it. She came to us and had us pray for her. The next week she went back to the doctors and the baby was alive. I could go on with more but I leave it there for now.God is real. Jesus really did die for us and is alive and living in us today. To believe takes a certain amount of faith. But when you put that faith in action through obedience He always meets you there.

  47. Mortisha The answer is simple. God doesn’t need us, we need Him. He doesn’t even need our worship but we need to worship Him. If He wanted He could just wipe us all out of existence. But it is with love and patience that He waits for human beings to come to Him. He could of made us all robots if He was insecure and forced us all to serve Him, but He gave us a free will.

  48. Unknown said:

    Why the need for Hell in that case? Why the need to punish those who do not worship him? If we had no free will, obviously there would be need for Hell. So, since we supposedly do have free will, why does he punish us if we use that free will in a way that he does not approve?

  49. Unknown said:

    sorry, "obviously there would be need for hell." should read "obviously there would be NO need for hell."

  50. PassiveHell was never created for humanity but for the devil and his angels. Because God is Holy sin cannot abide in His presence. Only those who have been made holy by the blood of Christ can enter otherwise we would be destroyed by His Glory.

  51. Unknown said:

    That doesn\’t really answer the question.Why the need to punish sins? God could avoid destroying us. If he couldn\’t, then he wouldn\’t be God. Has He decided to let sinners suffer for all eternity for a reason? Or is He using our own salvation as an excuse to let us suffer? Which is it?

  52. The devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone\’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:10-15) "Then he will say to those on his left, \’Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.\’ …Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Mt 25:41, 46) Hell is a place of eternal, conscious suffering that serves as punishment for sinners. Everyone deserves to go to hell for their sins; the only way we can be saved from it is by accepting God\’s forgiveness as provided through Christ\’s sacrificial death. (That is, people have to truly repent and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior in order to be saved; mouthing words without truly believing in and loving God doesn\’t qualify as repentance.) God desires for everyone to repent and be saved: "\’As surely as I live,\’ declares the Sovereign LORD, \’I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live\’" (Ezekiel 33:11; see also Ezek 18:32). Yet not everyone will repent, so hell is necessary.

  53. Chrystal said:

    Thankyou for taking the time for the reply. It just makes my belifes (or nonbelife\’s) stronger. I Have more to say on this subject but I would Horrifically offened you. For I Am An Atheist.

  54. Stephen said:

    Gerry,I know your intentions are good, but really, your endless quoting of a book whose meaning is always questionable (especially to an atheist, let alone a theologian) will do nothing but drive people away unless you yourself, can speak to people in plain english. You can\’t convert an atheist by using the bible. It\’s as I said to another on this site; I might as well quote you passages of the Koran for the purpose of making you a muslim. You know that won\’t work, it\’ll just get people\’s back up to you.You want to be a leader, a preacher, a teacher, then take this above comment (constructively) as a lesson. You can\’t take a kindergarten student, put them in grade 8 and expect them to understand. So don\’t rely on scripture, because to many people, christian or not, it\’s not absolute. To many, it\’s as absolute as the current translation.

  55. hey stephenoi have been reading your comments..i thinkpeople miss out on the fact that the endless preaching from the mouths of preachers(no disrespect intended , i love preachers) can not save a soul unless the conviction of the holy Spirit is in tht individual. All your debates of the biblical text cannot convince you of the authencity of the bible, because it is done by man and it takes a heavenly intervention to change hearts, change opinions and save a soulone fact i know even if you or the rest of world of theoleogians, scholars or scientists disowns the Truth, no matter wht it is still the truth!thnks and God BlessSharon

  56. lil schafe said:

    hey,wow this is cool seeing these pics of united,i went to YC consumed 2005 in edmonton this year!! it was totally awsome!!cool space too! in him, ~Megan~

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