Saturday 30 October 2010, saw over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform a Knight Foundation’s ‘Random Acts of Culture.’ Brought together by the Opera Company of Philadelphia at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ — I know… in a department store! It is the world’s largest pipe organ, too.
The Opera Company chorus with throngs of singers from the community entered the store as shoppers, and burst into an impromptu rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ to the delight of surprised shoppers.
What a wonderful thing to happen by surprise, and by one of the most beautiful pieces of music, too.
But the thing that gladdens my heart the most, is “Praise the Lord” rang out loud and clear in Macy’s! In MACY’S! But not only that Handel used direct quotes from the King James Version of the bible for the lyrics. It was the word of God that went forth, and it never returns void!
It is said of this song, that it will be the only song of praise written by men to be sung at the throne of God!
For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
A couple of acquaintances have recently said to me, in different conversations, “Everything is relative.”
My response was to ask them , “Is that a relative statement?”
It is quite obvious, all is not relative!
Matthew 22:34 –40 “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Like the Old Testament Jewish leaders, you may have read these verses and missed GRACE. You complain about all the “bad” things God does, yet you have no absolute reference for good things, other than the revelation innate in all humans. Part of that revelation is that all murder of innocents is wrong. Science has absolutely no accounting for that. It provides no viable, rational, reasonable or even logical explanation for morality.
Those who balk at the so-called atrocities contained in the bible have probably never read, nor less understood THOSE two commandments that Jesus gave in Matthew 22:37-40. The first is to love God with all your heart… the second to love your neighbor.
I could say I do not know about you, but I do. You are human like me, and I know I have not, nor currently cannot, nor have any hope of keeping these two commandments. I will probably even break them as I write this to you!
If you want to pick verses here and there and then be angry at God, you are absolutely free to do so. Mind you, that would be a violation of the two commandments Jesus gave above.
As much as you might love science, there are things that science can never, ever account for… especially good things. There is no scientific reason for good things. But we know good, conversely we also know bad.
Although you may opine that you do not believe that all of us suffer the consequences of Adam’s sin. I want to tell you we do. As humans, AND descendants of Adam, we all die a physical death! We are all cursed by that sin.
Psalm 139… (read all of it please)http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Ps139.1 tells us that the God we want to know is a personal God. He knows all of our thoughts, I know you may not believe that, but bear with me.
God knows everything about me, he knew it before I was born. He knew the exact day, yeah, the exact moment, I would sin against Him. Yet, lovingly, He still formed me, breathed life into me, and cared for me as He does today.
Let me show you a couple of other passages– to start a foundation. In Job 31-17, Job is in some serious despair.– Job said in Job 3:3-4, “Let the day perish on which I was to be born and the night which said a boy is conceived! May that day be darkness.”
Job laments his birth, this is what he says in Job 3:16-17 “Why was I not hidden like a stillborn child, like infants who never saw light?”
Why didn’t I die in my mother’s womb? “There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.” What’s he saying? He’s saying, “I’d be better off if I wouldn’t have to face a troubling life–that I would enter immediately into, REST” (emphasis mine.)
In Ecclesiastes 6:3-5 Solomon laments “What’s the point of living two thousand years if you don’t ever enjoy true goodness? You’d be better off a stillborn child.”
But, the Bible tells us sinfulness is not a condition that comes upon people when they are old enough to choose to do evil (I Kings 8:46, Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Psalm 143:2, Proverbs 20:9, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 15:18, Romans 3:10-11.) It is the condition of the entire human race since Adam and Eve. Everyone born has been born in a fallen, sinful state. That becomes evident as soon as any behavioral choice is made.
Ephesians 2:3 says we are the children of wrath. The bible is clear we are born with this proclivity that will eventually result in our death.
How could we then believe in a God who would seem to prescribe this?
As I see it, it is the human condition! We all must die… but then we all also have a choice!
Consider this…. condemnation is not from God. God has said this, in 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God is not willing that any should perish. Further more, in 1 Timothy 2:4 Paul writes that God’s will is that all should be saved! This says that you are born into existence, destined to die a physical death, YET the will of God is for you to inherit eternal life!
YES, Inherit ETERNAL LIFE!
But, there is another problem…
Revelation 20:11-13 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.”
This tells US that we all must give account for WHAT WE DO! So we die as a result of the original (Adam’s) sin, but we must be judged by what we do, as recorded in books in heaven.
Let’s read a little further…
Revelation 20:14-15 “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Did you catch what the real problem is in verse 15?
It says, whoever’s name was NOT found in the book of life, he was thrown into the second death. It is called a second death, because it is not a physical death, but a ETERNAL, spiritual death. All of our deeds are recorded in those books. There is judgment for the works that we have done as they have been recorded in those books. But… regardless of what is the outcome of the judgment, it all comes down to that final book! That book is called the book of life! Why does it depend on whether any of our names are recorded there, or not?
Most people believe it is what we DO that counts FOR US… but the bible is clear… WHAT WE DO CONDEMNS US already (John 3:18!)
So, God knows that we are born into sin, that is to say… born to die, He still chooses for us to go to heaven. But sometime after we are born (and it is a different time for everybody) we CHOOSE to knowingly and WILLFULLY disobey God! Just as Adam did! This is the PERSONAL SIN we become responsible for, that immediately condemns us, and leads to spiritual death, for which we must answer to God.
So, how are we saved from this destiny?
It may be said, if God takes all the babies that have died to heaven, that would be His grace, because we are destined for that place… BY HIS GRACE ALONE! Right?
But, I ask, how are you saved? Is it by keeping the law and doing good things?
Would it be better… law for babies and grace for you?
Of course not!
You have no more to do with your salvation than a helpless infant! Perhaps this is what Jesus had in mind when He said in Matthew 18:3, “You who go to heaven, go to heaven as little children.” Is there a better illustration of a salvation by grace than the salvation of a helpless infant?
Any true understanding of Scripture yields the reality that all salvation is by sovereign choice by God – through grace, based on nothing that the sinner merits!
So you can choose to focus on the deplorable condition of all mankind, and the evil that is so vividly described in the bible. This evil is a direct result of sin, and sin alone.
The penalty for doing evil, is death. That is what God told Adam in Genesis 2:16-17, and that penalty HAS NEVER changed! He has not changed His mind on SIN, from the beginning of the book until the very end.
Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The soul that sins, it shall die.” Not the soul that is born into sin, it is person who commits sin. That person owes a debt, in fact… We all owe THE SAME debt to God!
Yet… it is by GRACE, AND GRACE alone, provided by HIM ALONE, that we get to ever stand in His presence. That is why it is written in Acts 3:19-20 “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.”
Do understand what this verse is now saying… that if we REPENT… our SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT! Colossians 2:14 says that Jesus “cancelled” this debt that stood against us with its compulsory legal demands, and He nailed to the cross!
So, no… all things are NOT relative.
You will die, as a result of Adam’s sin!
And you will die a second spiritual death for what you have done!
But there is an out… Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is by grace alone we are saved. It also says through faith… What faith?
Ask! (John 4:10!) I tell you this, not to scare you, but simply in hope that your eyes may be opened to the truth.Print This Post Filed under BibleStudies, CloserToGod, CULTure, devotion | Tags: God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, justification, relativism, salvation, the lie | Comment (1)
In an article posted here recently, the Catholic Church has once again abandoned God’s chosen. In this very dangerous statement…
The Creator’s promise in the Bible that the Promised Land belongs to the Jewish People is no longer valid.
The Catholic Church has once again affirmed their stance and given tacit blessing to the persecutors of the Jewish people. As I see it, the covenant God made with Abraham was everlasting… in fact, it was a one-way covenant (Genesis 15:17.) This means that God would always keep it, even though man could not!
Furthermore, Genesis 13:14-15 says that the land belongs to Israel forever. This is a promise from God, not law given by Him. As such, Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to NEGATE it! The law is still valid and so are the promises.
As I see it, God is unchanging, and He never goes back on His promises. He might expand them, but His promises are FOREVER. It is easy to understand, even by a superficial reading of the book of Esther, that God does not negate His words.
The American archbishop that stated that the promise of the Creator was “abolished by the presence of Christ” could not be more mistaken. In fact, it is HERESY! Statements such as this show the dearth of knowledge of redemption in Christ present in “the (Catholic) church.”.
Not surprising, the error of replacement theology or supersessionism has been a pariah on Christendom and was foisted upon us by Catholicism. It has led to anti-Semitism. This heresy is very dangerous, and was the probable empowerment to Hitler’s “final solution.”
God most certainly is not finished with His people, Israel. They are being gathered together from the four corners of the Earth to fulfill the grand end of the ages. But sadly, this grand end of the ages, is a judgment on that unrepentant Abrahamic house.
Even more sadly, this anti-Semitic error, purported by what most outside Christendom see as “the church,” is the main stumbling block American Jews have in trusting the true church, and by extension, Jesus Christ. (Perhaps this recent post can shed some light that subject.) The true Christian church is NOT the Catholic Church, and is plainly made evident by this recent proclamation.
It is my prayer that the Catholic Church atones for its error. But, the damage may already be irreparable. Nevertheless, time marches on, Daniel’s 70th week is yet to be fulfilled. Our hope is that our Jewish brothers and sisters see the Jesus, as the Messiah, is the Final Sacrifice.Print This Post Filed under CULTure, Eschatology, history, israel, news, prophecy | Tags: abraham, Christianity, End Times, God, israel, Jesus, Jesus Christ, politics | Comment (1)
Something really interesting happened on 10/10/10 at 10:00 PM. Flamingo Road Church changed its name to Potential Church.
I have a few questions…
Are you not really a church, but want to be one soon?
Are you a really powerful church ready to explode?
I mean really… what is it with church names these days?
Why do churches rely on growth by programs and education of one pastor? Is it not good enough to not let man DO and solely rely upon God add to His church such as should be saved, a la Acts 2:41?
Why do churches and pastors have to PROMOTE the name of the pastor, and use them as website URLs to unify a church? Does the pastor have a brand? Are you serving your own ego?
Is there a board of elders that oversee here, like a proper New Testament church, or is it just the pastor and what he wants?
The last question I have, after having searched this website high and low tonight…
WHERE IS JESUS?
Is Potential Church so ashamed of the name of Jesus that it is nowhere to be found on the website at its inauguration?
These are questions every Christian MUST ask of their church!Print This Post Filed under CULTure, news | Tags: arrogance, Christianity, corruption, CULTure, End Times, globalism, Jesus Christ, progressive, the lie | Comments (57)
Much hoo-hah is being made over the president’sseemingextreme spiritual makeover. It seems the apologists are working overtime to polish up the tarnished “piety” of POTUS.
After spending many years of Sundays under Jeremiah Wright’s tutelage, it seems urgent for everyone to know that Barack Obama is a Christian.
During a town hall meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on 28 September 2010, the president was asked this question, “Why are you a Christian?”
His answer, beginning at about 7:45 in the video link above, is as follows…
You know, I’m a Christian by choice. My family didn’t – frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.
I know you do not have to go to church to be a Christian, but if not under the discipline of a body of believers and like minded people, doctrine tends to drift, so-to-say.
So I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me.
Hmmm… now this is where I really start to wonder. First, understanding what Jesus was saying in Matthew 7:12, He was talking specifically in the context of serving others. But it seems that our president wants to be responsible for, or worse yet, to control others. This is not what Jesus Christ taught, ever! Quite frankly it is not taught anywhere else in the bible.
But let us continue…
And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God.
Respectfully, Mr. President, I think you get it wrong, it is not about us. It was Jesus Who was humbled (Philippians 2:5-8) for our sins. It was He Who died a shameful death (Isaiah 53:4-5) and took our just punishment. Yeah, we are sinful, (Romans 3:10) willful-disobedient (John 3:19-20) wretches! We offer NOTHING to a holy God, but to agree with Him about our sin, repent and then humbly serve Him and others.
Furthermore, would you continue to steal glory from God, by stating WE achieve salvation? It is only by His longsuffering, His mercy toward us, and His great sacrifice of grace that we are saved! Hallelujah!
But, as someone who has totally missed the grace of Jesus, our president would instruct us to help others.
But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.
My job is NOT to see God in others, that sounds a bit pantheistic, or universal, not surprising for a post-modern man. But we do not help people “find their own grace.” That grace is useless! It is only the grace of God (John 3:36) of that saves. There is salvation in no other name, but the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12, John 14:6.)
Jesus teaches us how to identify Christians, first, by their fruits as written in Matthew 7:16. And then by the love we have for one another as written in John 13:34-35. Some of that fruit can be found in this previous post.
Make no mistake, I am not judging the president. I am only being like a Berean, and testing what he says against what the bible says is true!
If President Obama did as Jesus instructed in John 13:15-16. My mind might be changed. But I think the woe that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:25-26 may apply.Print This Post Filed under news, views | Tags: Christianity, CULTure, God, Jesus Christ, obama, salvation, the lie | Comments (2)
Acts 17:28a – “for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’”
Consider the verse above… we all indeed do live, move and exist explicitly at the will of God. But when you seek God, do you look for Him in human made buildings or certain places of prayer?
Do you not know, that God can be found by those who seek Him. The only requirement is we have to willingly seek Him as He is! It is He Who serves us. He is very close to all of us. Some today would equate God and the universe as one. That cannot be, He is a personal God, He transcends time and space.
It is the same principal, that when you enter a dark room (even if you have never been in that room) you begin looking for a light switch. You grope around in the dark until you find it. And when you do, you grasp it to turn it on!
Now, lets read Acts 17:24-28 “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”
So there it is, God is not constricted by place or time like us. He determined the exact place where you are, and He wants you to seek Him.
But did you see it?
He wants you to find Him, though He is not lost. He has put you right where that you are “in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.” The same principal applies… when you find yourself in any circumstance far away from God, whether a believer or not. God is always very close nearby. It is those that “feel their way toward Him” (the NKJV uses the words “that they might grope for Him”) that find Him.
It is a diligent, loving pursuit of each of us. Always nearby, our heavenly Father is ready, willing and able to be found by those who seek Him. It really is that simple.Print This Post Filed under BibleStudies, CloserToGod | Tags: believe, bible study, Christianity, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, longsuffering, prayer | Comments Off on God is Always Nearby
Oh, the precious blood
that flowed from Mercy’s side,
Washed away my sin,
When Christ my Savior died.
Oh the precious blood
of Christ the crucified,
speaks for me before your throne
where I stand justified.
It is interesting how we spend much time justifying sin. We like to think the little white lies we tell are okay because they are justifiable. We also may believe it okay to steal food when we are starving.
We know that lying and stealing are wrong. However, we want to be justified. If then we long for this justification, how is it obtained?
Do we bring out a scale and weigh the perceived good and bad, and then make a decision?
If so, and we proceed with “justified” sin, is it still not sin?
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we all have to work for justification. However, we know that we need it. Romans 3:20 tells us that if we try to be good enough to always do the right thing, it will not be good enough!
As the lyric in the song above… if we have put our faith in Jesus, we ALREADY are justified! It is by Jesus’ blood alone. It testifies to God the Father as we stand before His throne.
Hey, don’t believe me! Read it here in Romans 5:9.
We cannot justify ourselves, yet it is there readily available for all! Abundant enough that all can, in Christ, stand before the throne of a holy God! (Romans 4:5)
Oh, it is precious blood indeed!Print This Post Filed under BibleStudies, Christology, CloserToGod, devotion, salvation | Tags: bible study, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, justification, salvation | Comment (1)
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
I think this is my all time favorite patriotic song, and as a hymn, it ranks almost at the top of the list. There is maybe on or two that can supersede it… but this is amazing!
Watch the video, read the blog post, but please keep this in mind…
What is striking to me is that there is not a single person involved in the production–the choir, the band–who is more than 18 years old, except for the directors, and some of them are 10 or 11. The moral of which is: if they haven’t given up, why should you?
From the Power Line, read it here: Don’t Give Up Hope
God save the United States, God save the president, God save its citizens!Print This Post Filed under CULTure, news | Tags: CULTure, God, Jesus Christ, our next greatest generation | Comments Off on Our Next Greatest Generation – Don’t Give Up Hope
Stephen Hawking in Abandon the Earth says…
“It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years,”
Yessirree… I will almost say it will be darn near impossible! We can both agree this, however, the particulars of the cause and solution are very different.
My outlook is taken from yet future events as they are recorded in the books of Daniel and the book of the Revelation. In these, is written a detailed description of coming events in a future time of great tribulation on Earth. It was also spoken of by Jesus, at length, in Matthew 13. It will be terrible to behold, let alone live through.
The escape, though, will not be on space ships… it will be a call by Jesus Himself!
You want to make sure you can hear the escape call? Check out this from Wretched Radio.Print This Post Filed under Eschatology, news, salvation, Science, survival, views | Tags: End Times, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, rapture, salvation | Comments Off on Stephen Hawking: Abandon the Earth
All religion, basically, is man’s effort to raise himself or make himself acceptable to God. Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism even Mormonism and to some extent Catholicism require certain work or duty to become accepted. They all have their different tenets, but there is always something YOU have to DO to become acceptable to God.
This is played out in the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. After their eyes were opened to good and evil, they knew they were naked. They tried to cover themselves with leaves to hide their nakedness and make them acceptable before God. That was the first religious act.
But Christianity is different…
The Bible tells that there is none righteous and that no one seeks after God. (Romans 3:10-18) In fact it goes so far to say that we have all sinned. (Romans 3:23) It instructs us that the burden of death on the physical world is the result of sin. (Romans 6:23)
But there is a Remedy offered in the second half of Romans 6:23, where Paul speaks of a gift from God through one man Jesus Christ. If we step a few verses backward, it tells us that even though we were not yet born, nor even considering to stop sinning, that Jesus died for us. (Romans 5:8)
So there is nothing any of us can DO to please God. What condition are we left in if we then have no hope to please God?
Romans 10:9 offers the solution. It is to look upon yourself, and agree with God on your condition and the finished work of Jesus who took our penalties upon Himself willingly! A few verses later in Romans 10:13 it is declared "For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”"
The results of salvation are summed up in a few more verses. In Romans 5:1 we find we have been justified and have found peace with God. Romans 8:1 then explains that we have been removed from our former condemnation. A little further ahead in Romans 8:38-39 we read that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.
That is Christianity… we are justified by faith alone, through God’s grace alone in Jesus Christ alone!Print This Post Filed under BibleStudies, Christology, CloserToGod, Compassion | Tags: devotion, God, Jesus, Jesus Christ, prayer, religion, salvation | Comments Off on Is Christianity Religion?