In the only Psalm he wrote, Moses said “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” Psalm 90:10.
If you have been following this blog you know I turned 71 this year. Therefore, I am living in those borrowed ten years. Wow! However, as I looked in the mirror this morning I noticed someone else or at least I thought I did. On the other hand, I have noticed this for some time now. That image in the mirror is getting more clear as time passes. What is it; or rather who is it I see in the mirror? Well, I see my father. For those who know me; you say how can that be when your father passed away several years ago? I know, I know, but it certainly looks like HIM!
Now you and I know it is not my deceased father I see in the mirror but it is simply my own reflection that is seen there. Nonetheless, it is that reflection in the mirror which reminds me more and more of my father with each passing day. Why, is this? Part of the answer is; I have inherited my earthly father’s DNA. Putting it in Bible terms it is “the image of the earthy”. That is the physical side of it.
So too, because I have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my own personal Saviour I am promised I “shall also bear the image of the heavenly” 1Corinthians 15:49. This latter promise is all “…thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Corinthians 15:57. This body which is of the earth is “corruptible” and “must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” 1 Corinthians 15: 53. The incorruptible and immortal is the spiritual side of it.
This old, worn out body of flesh, in which I was born, will some day pass away but the Lord has a new body waiting for me. As Paul wrote “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” 2Corinthians 5:1. Thank you Lord!
Before I get too far into this journal, today isn’t actually my birthday. What, you say? You see I live in Australia which is one day ahead of where I was born in the states. So as we celebrate my birthday today in Australia we can actually celebrate it again tomorrow as that is the actual day I was born into this world back in the states. Not bad is it?
Now that your confused I will get on with the main topic of this journal. I had cataract surgery one week ago today and all has been well. In fact, the eye that had the cataract removed has 20/20 vision according to the doctor. So now it is a waiting game for one to two months and then an eye examination to determine the strength of my new glasses. Yes, the reality of it all is I am 71 and not only counting but deteriorating due to sin.
Anyway, now I will really get on with my main purpose for writing this journal. I am now only four years shy of my mother’s age when she entered eternity. She along with my father, grandmother and grandfather are all buried in the cemetery not far from where we resided when I was a boy.
That cemetery brings back some memories. One memory is when I was in 4H. We had a hay rack ride one Halloween and stopped at this cemetery. I don’t remember a lot of what occurred there but I do remember walking among those tomb stones on that bright crisp autumn Iowa night. That has stuck with me all these years.
As a boy of 16 I remember riding my Triumph motorcycle past that cemetery quite often on warm Iowa evenings enjoying the breeze and having June bugs hitting my forehead. Those June bugs could really hurt! Anyway, I didn’t really think much of what that cemetery was all about until 1961 when my grandfather passed away.
He was my dad’s father and lived on the farm about one mile from where we lived. I enjoyed many hours with grandpa. Often I could be found riding that old 48n Ford tractor with grandpa ploughing a field or mowing hay. I loved helping put up hay. Frank was a neighbour who lived on another farm near-by. He would come with his baler and I and a few others would pick up the bales and throw them on a hay rack. Then when the hay rack was loaded we would take it to the barn and put the hay in the haymow. Those were the days before the huge bales like they have today. These were bales you could pick up and pick them up we did. Putting them in the haymow was done via a fork similar to this which was hooked to a rope which was hooked to a tractor. The tractor would pull the rope and the hay would be lifted up into the haymow and when we had the hay in the place where we wanted it we hollered “Drop it!”. Then we stacked the bales and another load would ascend into the haymow and we did it all over again. At noon grandma would have lunch for us and we would gather around the table and talk and listen to the news on WHO. Grandma often made doughnuts for a treat but grandpa liked bread and jam for his dessert. Yes, when grandpa was placed in that cemetery it took on a whole new meaning.
I was saved some years before grandpa died but his passing had a great influence on me and my life. The Bible tells us “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” 2Peter 3:9. God desires for you, the reader of this journal, to personally know Him. John said “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” 1John 5:12. Yes, I am 71 and counting but unless the Lord returns my body will someday lie where grandpa, grandma and my parents lie. I am ready, are you?
“Islam in America: Violent and Bloodthirsty, or Peaceful?”
“My Experience With Islam in America
Islam is supposedly a religion of peace. American Muslims, at least, are supposedly peace loving, Americanized and Westernized people. The vast numbers of Quranic commands to kill non-Muslims are supposedly irrelevant to these American followers of Allah who supposedly put the Constitution above the Quran. Is it so? There are certainly secular Muslims who care more about making money and living like rich people than about what the Quran says. However, there is a vast and growing body of already extant evidence demonstrating that far, far too many Western Muslims, and majorities of Muslims in many nations worldwide, still believe the Quran and thus tend towards violence. To that body of evidence may the following true story provide some further light. The person involved in the record below will remain anonymous, and statements in the comment section speculating on the person involved will probably be deleted. The story will be told in the first person. It illustrates Islam in the American heartland.
The Testimony—What Muslims in America Are Doing
Not that long ago I was in the Milwaukee area, on a public sidewalk, passing out The Testimony of the Quran to the Bible outside of a Muslim gathering at a particular mosque in the region. Recognizing that “a soft answer turneth away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1), I sought to be especially polite and kind to the Muslims there as they left the mosque in multitudes. I was by no means doing anything to whip up the Muslims, as some foolish people in Christendom do at Muslim gatherings. As I respectfully offered them the literature, some of them cursed at me. One of them spat at me. Some of them ripped it up. (Some of them took it also, and I do not know what they did with it—hopefully they read it and God worked in their life toward them rejecting Allah and receiving Jehovah’s eternal Son, Jesus Christ.) One of them told me that there were crazy people there and I might be in danger. After a while, a sizable group of young Muslim men told me that they were going to kill me. They were not kidding, either. As they were approaching me, a private security vehicle with its lights flashing “just happened” to pull up, and it remained on the site the rest of the time I was passing out the Christian pamphlet. The vehicle stayed there for about two hours while the young Muslim men circled around and around in a car to see if the security vehicle was still there or if they could act out their desire to do me serious bodily injury or send me to the grave. This private security vehicle was God’s answer to my prayers, and the prayers of others, for protection before I went. After about everyone had left the mosque, I left also.
Politely passing out that pamphlet to those Muslims was the most dangerous evangelistic endeavor I have ever undertaken. I have passed out tracts to gatherings of people of many different religions. I have preached on the street and passed out literature to gatherings of militant sodomites, in front of drunks, and with various other rabble-rousers. While sometimes these people have made threats (sodomites, for example, have burned tracts, said they would kill me, and done other similar things), none, I repeat, none of these evangelistic opportunities has been as dangerous as politely passing out pamphlets to Muslims in the American heartland. This is my testimony to the character of Islam in America.
Interestingly, I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) one time—perhaps a mistake in itself—and the radio station wanted people to call in to give their story of their encounters with Muslim neighbors. Everything was supposed to be light, happy, and frothy. I called and told the person vetting the calls what my story was. Not surprisingly, I was not allowed on air. It did not fit the P. C. fairy-tale narrative about Islam.
We should use the freedoms that we have in the United States to boldly evangelize the Muslims that are here—we would not have that liberty in countries where they are the majority. We should also ask God to protect us and take sensible steps to protect ourselves when we do so (e. g., have someone recording the evangelism on a camera, have someone ready to call 911, perhaps even wear bullet proof vests or other protection, although, based on Matthew 5:44, the example in Acts 7, etc. I do not believe it is best to carry weapons for self-defense when preaching the gospel, although carrying them for general protection is certainly Biblical, Luke 22:36-38. If Stephen had used a concealed weapon in Acts 7 things would haven been not a little different!) We should also consider what we are doing to our nation when we bring into our country and make citizens those who believe in the Quran. Muslim immigration can be vastly limited by simply passing a law that states that countries with a high level of support for terrorism cannot send people here (with an exception for persecuted minorities such as Christians). Islam does not even need to be mentioned in the law. By passing such a law, those who believe in the anti-Biblical and anti-American system of Sharia can be kept out to a large extent, while those that are already here can be boldly evangelized.”
“The couple at the centre of the ‘gay cake’ case have told how their legal battle with equality watchdogs has strengthened their marriage, as well as their faith in God.” http://www.christian.org.uk/news/ashers-case-has-bolstered-our-marriage-and-faith-in-god/
It seems only Christians are to leave their faith at home.
Doesn’t a person have the right or the freedom to be what they believe themselves to be sexually? Well….to some extent. Allow me to try to explain. In the everyday affairs of life it is none of my business how someone votes, spends their income, what takes place in their bedroom, etc., etc. However, we are not talking about just anyone but someone who claims to be a spokesperson for God and a minister of a United Methodist congregation in Kansas.
Cynthia Meyer is “…pastor of Edgerton United Methodist Church” and “told her small-town congregation that her coming out was ‘an act of civil disobedience’ against the denomination’s ban on gay clergy.” http://www.towleroad.com/2016/01/methodist-pastor-came-gay-sermon-faces-possible-discipline-video/
Meyer also told the United Methodist News Service (UMNS) that she has “been an ordained United Methodist pastor for 25 years. At last, I am choosing to serve in that role with full authenticity, as my genuine self, a woman who loves and shares my life with another woman”. http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/kansas-pastor-comes-out-during-sermon
Now if Cynthia Meyer was just a person on the street and not a supposed Reverend and (I am assuming) a member of a United Methodist church her coming out would not have prompted me to write this article. So why am I writing this? Well, here we need to turn to the Bible.
Again I am assuming that the United Methodist denomination and its ministers believe the Bible. In 1 Corinthians Paul is writing to a local church. This church was composed of all sorts of people who had lived numerous types of lifestyles. In the sixth chapter and verses 9 -11 Paul writes “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (these are sodomites, homosexuals, lesbians), 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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.”
Since the discussion is homosexuality (sodomy) we will limit ourselves to that sin which does not according to this passage allow the person to “inherit the kingdom of God”! In other words they will not enter Heaven. However, Paul says four things have occurred to these people which makes them worthy to enter Heaven when they die.
Firstly, take note that Paul uses the past tense saying “such WERE some of you”. Some of these Christians HAD BEEN sodomites but because of their new relationship with Jesus Christ their old life was passed away and all things had become new, 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Secondly, they had been “washed..from our (their) sins in his own blood”. This blood of the Lord Jesus is called “precious blood” by Peter in 1 Peter 1:19. As John said He “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”. Then Paul wrote to another local church saying “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ”Eph 2:13.
Thirdly this person is said to be “sanctified”. Strong’s Greek concordance says this word “agiazw hagiazo, hag-ee-ad’-zo” means “to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:–hallow, be holy, sanctify.” One of the characteristics of a sanctified person is holiness. The Lord calls Christians to holiness, purity in 1 Peter 1:15 & 16 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Now, daily or what is often called progressive sanctification comes via the reading and study of God’s Word; John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”. Surely sodomy does not fit with sanctification?
The fourth work of God in this person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6: 11 is he or she has been “justified”. Now, because of Christ we have been made as though we had never committed those sins for “such WERE some of you”. Now when God the Father sees the Christian He sees them in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you have taken the time to read this far and still hold the view that homosexuals and lesbians can continue in that lifestyle and still be considered a true Christian Paul had you in mind when he wrote in the ninth verse “Be not deceived”! People who say they love you and water down the Word to fit your lifestyle are simply deceiving you and when the enemy, death comes (as it does to all of us) you will enter eternity without the Saviour, without hope and never to “inherit the kingdom of God”. You have been deceived!
Be assured one cannot continue to live a life as “abusers of themselves with mankind” and when death comes enter Heaven as one of God’s children! It is self-deception to reinterpret God’s Word to fulfill the lust of the flesh! When a man/woman reinterprets the Bible to fit their sin they are only cheating themselves of eternal life. This is not a minor matter for the eternal soul of a person is at stake. We cannot sow to the flesh and yet reap everlasting life!
Worse yet some of these deceivers are deceiving others by claiming to be a follower of Christ, even ministers, when in reality they are nothing but “full of all subtilty and all mischief” and are a “child of the devil” and an “enemy of all righteousness” and not ceasing “to pervert the right ways of the Lord” Acts 13:10.
Coming out will not spiritually change anything for the homosexual. Coming out will only entrench a person in their sin. BUT, there is HOPE. No matter what sins a man or woman commit there is no barrier to keep them from being born again and reconciled to God. The precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will purge away all guilt and defilement for “…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”.
However, holding on to the sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6 is to make a mockery of sin and the grace of God. There MUST be “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yes, it is as simple as what the preachers said to the jailer in Philippi “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
In closing please remember that all those who are made righteous in the sight of God are made holy by the grace of God.