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Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? 1 Corinthians 6:9a

Did you know that homosexual perversion (while still a sin), is not nearly as rampant as heterosexual perversion?  It’s true. Drawing upon the data from recent surveys, there are over 8 million adults in the US who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. That’s only 3.5% of the population. That leaves us with a population of over 96% that are heterosexual.  Of those, 75% have had sexual intercourse (outside of marriage) by their late teens!

We’re Not Hurting Anyone

“We’re not hurting anyone,” is an excuse common to both the homosexual and heterosexual camps, but the sad reality is that casual footheterosexual sex has directly contributed to the death of almost 60 million babies in the United States and over 1.3 billion globally. Let that number sink in. 1.3 billion abortions due largely to casual sex between a man and a woman. In steep contrast AIDS has only claimed the lives of 39 million people. It sure makes me wonder if our homo-myopia is yet another satan-fueled diversion. Could it be we’re shooting our own foot?

What’s my point?

Hear me out — I am not defending homosexuality. Heaven forbid. Having said that, homosexuality is a frequent topic of conversation (as it should be), but it should not be so at the cost of all other sin. Chances are the folks sitting next to you in church are not gay (based on the data), but might very well be involved in some type of heterosexual sin that is being largely overlooked in our discussions and our pulpits.

Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9b-10

Do you ever wonder how many of the people who rightfully denounce homosexuality are ‘habitually’ viewing pornography or are fornicating outside of marriage? Porn alone will claim 70% of these men. How many of these have slid under the church’s radar, or more accurately, beneath the span of the spotlight we shine on what’s generally perceived to be the more grievous sin? We’d be wise to remember that homosexuality is a sin worthy of discussion, but it’s not the only sin.

The Debate

I’ve heard the arguments and I have even cited them myself: the ‘gay agenda’ is being crammed down our throats. It’s an undeniable truth. Everywhere we turn the culture, the media, and the government are defending, supporting, or creating law in support of homosexuality, thus encouraging sinners to wrongfully proclaim ‘gay is not a sin.’ We stand against this assault because souls are being lost. I get it. I’m merely putting forth there’s a larger picture we should not ignore.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed , but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Fear Factor

This is going to hurt a little, but I’m going to say it anyway. When it comes to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and social interaction in general, we’re afraid of our heterosexual friends. By that I mean we don’t want to make them angry, nor do we want to lose any of them. We may only have a few gay friends and/or family members, but we have a gazillion sexually active hetero friends and family, and we do not want to further alienate them.

You might not like it, but hatred of this kind is inevitable. You can espouse your love for them until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day most sinners will choose their sin over your suspect love or friendship.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22

What Are the Options?

In an attempt to thwart Bible prophecy, some Christians have determined that they won’t talk about any sin, at any time, with anybody (aka: Joel Osteenism). I submit to you that is not a viable option for a follower of Jesus Christ. We’re called to share the Gospel message and its foundational principle: all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. In other words, we cannot ignore the issue of sin, but we’re to approach the sinner in a loving and Biblical way.

Judge Not

The Bible makes reference to three kinds of judgements and encourages the followers of Jesus Christ to actively participate in two of those three. The third type, judging unto condemnation is forbidden — God alone makes that final determination. The other two are:

  1. Judging for the purpose of identification.
  2. Judging for the purpose of restoration.

An example of the first sort might be ‘determining that a person is highly intoxicated,’ and based on the situation concluding that the wisest option is to walk away.  An example of the second type is similar, but in addition to making the identification we see an open door to assist (restore) that person.

Christians are called to identify (judge) sin, and then by means of the Holy Spirit discern if we can act on God’s behalf to restore such a one. Sin is very often the leaping off point by which we deliver the Gospel message, but if we’re primarily focused on just one sin, we’re inevitably going to miss a slew of other closeted-folks who need a little light shined in their direction in order that they might know the full grace of God this side of Heaven.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a

Are You Going to Heaven?

My blog is primarily intended for a Christian audience, but I realize that on occasion non-believers happen upon it. It’s for those folks I’d like to give an opportunity to know and follow Jesus Christ. Please click this link to learn more.

A guy goes in for a job at McDonald’s

“Do you like the ‘Big Mac‘ burger?” the manager asks.

1“I believe it’s the best burger in the universe!” he replies.

“Excellent! I think we can use a guy like you. Here’s a uniform and our employee’s manual. Study the book tonight and we’ll start training you tomorrow.”

The next day the guy shows up and begins training. As the boss wanders by, he drops a burger on the floor and casually picks it up, tossing it back on the grill.

The manager intervenes, “Excuse me! What are doing? Don’t you know that’s wrong? Did you even read our book? And by the way, where’s your uniform?”

“Here’s the problem, bro. I don’t believe it’s wrong and I don’t really appreciate you telling me it is. Oh, and I don’t agree with everything written in your little book, either.”

“Oh really,” the manager says, “well I’m very sorry, but you cannot work here. I’m letting you go.”

The guy storms out, but the next day he shows up for work. The manager stopped him at the counter and reminded him he was fired for failure to comply with the company manual and for thinking bad behavior was good.

He protested, “But bro, I believe the Big Mac is the best!!!”

The manager set him straight.

“What you ‘believe’ about our most famous burger isn’t relevant. Even our competition knows how great our burger is, but that’s not enough. You cannot serve here and continue to call bad behavior good, nor can you reject the portions of our policies you don’t agree with. You can show up here everyday with your belief, but it’s a ‘lie’ if you think you have a future here.  If you want things ‘your way’ you should probably go to the ‘Home of the Whopper.'”

~ ~ ~

Of course this was a fictional account, but it does demonstrate a point about the Christian faith: believing Jesus is the ‘best’ is not enough. The Bible says even satan believes in Jesus.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believeand tremble.” (James 2:19)

The Bible says that true Christians (believers) follow the commands of Jesus that are found in the Bible. Our belief is not merely an understanding of historical data, but a determination to act affirmatively upon that which we know to be true. It’s for this reason we cannot pick through the Bible determining which commands we like and which we reject. It just doesn’t work that way.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – Jesus

Calling sin what God calls it (sin) is our leaping off point. We can’t repackage our illicit behavior(s) and call them lifestyle choices, nor can we argue that the Bible was written for a different time and culture. We believe God and appreciate that God cannot lie.

“For I am the LORD, I change not…Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.” (Malachi 3:6a, Hebrews 13:8)

Servants of the Lord are those who are submitted to God, regardless of how often we ‘drop the burger.’ Rather than make light of it, we recognize our errors without making excuses or worse, pretending they are something else. We don the full armor of Christ, even if it doesn’t fit as well as we’d like. We know we’re imperfect, but we also know by His grace we are saved, showing up to work each day knowing that our future is secure.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)

If you would like this same assurance, believe in Jesus Christ similarly. It’s a kind of faith that says you trust Jesus and you desire to follow His ways.  It’s also an understanding that you’re a sinner (just like the rest of us) and that you need a Savior. In other words, there’s no way for you to enter Heaven on your own; there’s just one way – through the person, divinity, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

You can learn more about it, HERE

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:12-14)

The year was 1977 when Ron and Linda Cross informed a social worker that they wanted to adopt another baby girl. Imagine their joy when they were notified of the availability of a newborn at St. Luke’s 11Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. To their shock they would soon discover that this baby weighed in at only 2 pounds, 14 ounces, having been born prematurely somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks. I suspect they were less prepared to learn the reason — this little girl’s birth was a result of a botched abortion and despite having survived some doctor’s attempt to kill her, her prognosis was not good: retardation, sight problems, emotional and physical disabilities were within the scope of possibilities.

Ron and Linda briefly weighed all the information and decided that they would adopt her. They named her Melissa.

“Behold , what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)

What Manner of Love is This

The Cross’s love for Melissa is difficult to fathom. They took as their own a helpless babe, who if even able to survive the next few days, would undoubtedly be severely damaged for the horrific experience. Having heard this story for the first time, I immediately drew a parallel between Ron and Linda’s adoption [of Melissa] and our Father’s adoption of us.

Taking it to Another Level

Even the best analogies are flawed and this is where this comparison comes to a screeching halt. It’s true, God our Father adopted us into His royal family, but He did so in a most unusual way. In order for our adoption to be legal (in the most righteous sense of the word) our Father-to-be would first have to relinquish His first and only Son to the grave. It’s preposterous to even consider this notion, nevertheless can we imagine the social worker telling Mr. and Mrs. Cross, “You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.” 

You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.” 

What manner of love is this? Frankly, it’s far beyond our capacity to understand the question, let alone answer. All we can do is breath deeply trying to get the air back into our lungs. Regardless, this is what our Father did for us in order that we might become the sons and daughters of the Most High. In our worst condition, God surrendered Jesus in order that He could call us His children.

Don’t try to figure it out, just receive it for the Good News that it is.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)

We know our adoption story has a miraculous ending, and so does Melissa’s. My age 5 Melissa (Cross) Ohden was medically cleared; there would be no lingering physical side effects from the abortion. It is an amazing story and you can read more about it HERE.

You may also be interested to know that there are currently about 200 abortion survivors living in the United States. You can read their stories HERE.

Happy Valentines Day.

50 Shades of Filth

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

I really didn’t want to enter the 50 Shades debate. I think it was because I’m still reeling from the President of the United States 1standing up before the 2015 National Day of Prayer and reminding us all that we should dismount our ‘high horses’ of anger and justice (in regard to Muslims burning a man alive), and pause to remember the church’s historical record. I’ve this vision of President Obama calling me out, “Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage’ stuff. Seems to me your record on this issue makes you a hypocrite.”

Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage only’ stuff.” 

Ugh

He’s right.

Where do I get off warning others about their sexual exploits after I’ve had my fill. While I’m at it, what business do I have warning others about drug and alcohol abuse, drunk driving, aggravated assault, or dare I say murder. Let the record show that Dave has lots and lots of blood on his hands.

A ‘Biblical Reality’ Check

This is where we all need to pause and consider all the players in the Bible, save Jesus. Can you think of one who was without sin? Me either. But yet these same men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. My mind immediately flashes to the Apostle Paul; a guy who arrested and murdered Christians, not unlike some barbarian Muslims we know! How dare this wretched man offer us Godly counsel and call it wise.

Ah, but for the grace of God, there go I.

Our One Defense

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 3:28

Sinners have only one defense in this matter: we boldly proclaim Biblical truth because we are justified by our saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the Christian who speaks, but the saint who is robed in His righteousness. No one in Christ’s church sits upon a high horse except Christ Himself, and it is in His name we may speak. It is for this reason I often declare on these matters that I have no opinion – I have a Bible. Therefore, we boldly proclaim that sex outside of marriage (i.e., marriage between a man and a woman) is wrong because God has said so.

I Don’t Agree

Please don’t argue with me or anyone else, read Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; and Jude 7 for yourself. If you still don’t agree, bring your debate to God, however trust me, “But Dave did it,” is not good fodder for your argument! The Bible commands complete abstinence before marriage, with sex between a husband and his wife being the only sexual relationship God approves.

It’s Black and White

5o Shades of Grey is nothing more than perversion. Even when I was active in my sexual sin I would have recognized this book as perverted, depraved, and pornographic. There’s nothing gray about it being smut. Know this: if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ and find yourself attracted to this book (and reportedly there are many), you are being deceived and you’re opening a door to consequences you may not be prepared for. Check out the last verse of Romans 1.

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32

Earlier in this same Book, the Apostle Paul makes ill mention of all practitioners of unrighteousness, with dishonorable recognition going towards fornication, inventors of evil things, an unnatural affections. If we stop reading after verse 31, we might ride away on our high horses saying, “Shame on these evil doers,” but verse 32 serves to knock us out of the saddle by reminding us that if watch (or read) from the sidelines, we’re just as guilty.

Please don’t reject 50 Shades because some hypocrite told you it was filth; reject it because God says it’s more harmful than you know.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9

~ ~ ~ 

If you enjoyed this blog, please ‘like’ it and share it with others. You can also leave a comment and/or subscribe to the blog. May God richly bless you today and always. If you want to know more about being born again, please visit this link.

aaaaaa10) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying that what you like to do is not sinful.

9) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying the Bible is wrong on many issues, especially the issue you regularly say is not sinful.

8) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying the people who point out sin are legalists, pharisees, fundies, or hypocrites.

7) You might be in sin if you regularly seek out people who prefer and/or agree with the same ‘questionable’ things that you do.

6) You might be in sin if you regularly point out the sins of others.

5) You might be in sin if you regularly say that ‘regardless’ of your behavior, Jesus loved sinners and hung out with them.

4) You might be in sin if you regularly misquote Bible verses about judging others.

3) You might be in sin if you regularly say that you’re not hurting anyone else.

2) You might be in sin if you regularly hear a still, small voice telling you what you’re doing is sinful.

1) You might be in sin if you respond to this post with an excuse I didn’t think of.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  (Isaiah 5:20)

Avengers of Wrath

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1)

As per chapter 13 of the Book of Romans, God appoints governing authorities for a specific purpose. Here it is: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Romans 13:3-4)

But if you do evil, be afraid

In theory, those who are appointed by God to these authoritative positions, be they police officers or Presidents of the United States, are Obama Face Palm-240x180to be ministers of God’s goodness, but this is not their only calling. They are also avengers (those who take vengeance), called to execute wrath (strong and fierce punishment) on those who do evil, for the sake of God’s righteousness and for those who abide by His laws. Never should they condone evil practices or suggest that those who long for justice are ignorantly riding their horses highly.

But Wait!

Didn’t God say, “Vengeance is Mine!” Is there not coming a day when God will pour out His wrath on an unrepentant world?

Yes, these things are true, but clearly, as the Romans 13 text demonstrates, God does not expect (or require) that the law-abiding world stand idly by while satanic-driven terrorism floods our streets. Prior to proclaiming [that] vengeance belongs to God, the Scripture maintains that whenever possible we’re to live peaceably with all men and to not exact punishment ourselves – God has appointed governments to exact certain punishments. The ultimate vengeance that belongs to God alone concludes with condemnation. Men and governments have no such authority, but neither must we wait to douse the fires of those who desire to set us ablaze. We are free to eliminate them and then trust God to judge them and us accordingly.

Meanwhile…

With God’s help, we’re to love and pray for those folks who do evil, remembering that Jesus took their sins to the cross, as well as ours. If they’re not aware of that Good News, then it’s our duty to tell them, if and when God affords us the opportunity to do so.

Hold Them Accountable

Don’t be fooled into believing that our only option is to be found in the voting booth. In America, the authorities that govern us (appointed by God) have also provided us many liberties. Let us boldly utilize them, while never forgetting to pray for the leadership of this country and also how God would use us.

Frankly, our leadership is not effectively doing the job God appointed them to do. The Romans passage quoted above tells us that ‘if you do evil,’ you should be afraid of the governing authorities. When I look around the world today, I don’t believe anyone looks at our president with fear. Based on his words and actions they may in fact see him as an ally or a sympathizer. This should not be and it’s okay to say so.

In this light, it’s okay to vocalize our concerns and to pray for these problems to be rectified. All of this certainly, and yes Biblically, falls into the category of submission to authority. So pray for salvation for those who may need it and also for Holy Spirit revival for those who need that. Pray for obedient boldness for those [who] God may be calling to leadership positions and that others may step down for their failure to uphold the tenets of their offices.

Hope

Our ultimate hope is in Jesus Christ, but let us also be good stewards of the goods and governments He has provided. Let no one neglect them as they wait for Christ’s return.

“Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness. He came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Muhammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people. True followers of Christ emulate Christ — true followers of Muhammad emulate Muhammad.”

Franklin Graham

This Thread We Walk

Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. Joshua 2:18

threadThe world is enormous and it is wicked, and her ruler is the evil one, but through it all there runs a scarlet thread. And while it is true that Christians are not of this world, it is upon, yes upon this fine and delicate thread we trek.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 27:10

For certain this thread is fine, but only in the sense that it is elegant, beautiful, and splendid. It is not paltry, gaunt, or slender. It is only a person’s posture and position that could create such an illusion, imaging ourselves larger than actuality, and being of a distance whereby large things appear small. If this thread seems slight, it’s our vantage point that is askew — we stand afar off thinking we are bigger than we are.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him. Psalm 27:14a

Nor is it delicate; it is of the strongest something men will ever know. It cannot be stretched, twisted, or broken. It is immoveable. Neither is it a tightrope whereby we must acquire great agility and balance. It is, as we move closer (acknowledging our smaller stature), an able path, not so broad we lose sight of its borders. It is the thread we tread, narrow yes, but a safe and trustworthy thoroughfare where if we stumble there is no risk of falling off, and where we’ll always find a helping hand to get us back upon our feet. Of course if we desire to exit, it is our choice.

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Psalm 27:15

This passage, this scarlet thread, runs through everything we encounter. In the good times it might seem wide and in bad times it may appear slim, but before these occasions we know nothing about it has changed. This route, this path, this Way is of the Lord and all who travel it will make it safely home.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

It is also upon this thread we are changed. As we begin to move forward upon it we have a strong sense of its difficulty. Others along the way are perceiving the same thing, and they endorse the sensation. It’s not unusual to hear someone say, “Well you know God said in this life there will be trials and tribulations!” This is so true, but it does not (and will never) contradict what Jesus said.

If the word’s of our Lord and Savior our true (His yoke is easy and His burden is light) and we’re not in agreement, then something is wrong with us: we’re walking in our flesh and not by His Spirit. Understand, this errant sensation is supposed to happen. It’s within this occurrence (and upon this path) that Jesus is allowing us to see the weakness of our flesh and simultaneously the strength of the Holy Spirit. So if we sense this walk of faith is difficult and burdensome, that’s great news! Jesus is letting us know that our flesh is still in control. Let us stop saying how hard the walk is and start thanking God for the changes He is making in us. The Christian life is not difficult, but walking in the flesh as a Christian is.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

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