Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘help’

Matthew 13
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
There are two main points that I would like to emphasize in these passages.
1)  The field is the world
As Christians, we are instructed by our Lord to become fishers of men or to be soul-winners.
Everyday as we go to work, school, the grocery store, or wherever life takes us, we are in the harvest field. I’ve seen churches with signs in the parking lot as you are driving away to  the local restaurant that say, ” YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE HARVEST FIELD.”    You can’t find a statement that is more factual than that!
Matthew 9 Jesus said,
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
2)  The harvest is the end of the age
In the above passage Jesus is talking about the separating of the true believers and unbelievers at the end of the age. There will be a great harvest in the last days. This started me to thinking about the elderly. They are truly in the last days of their lives here on earth. What better harvest field than to reach those who are the closest to being harvested by the angels? Like the weeds in this parable thrown into eternal fire, or to live in the presence of God forever.
I’ve had the pleasure to lead a few elderly people to the Lord over the years, when I did it brought great joy to my spirit to know that they are now are ” shining like the sun in the kingdom of their father.”
     The following is one of my experiences:
In November of 2010, I was at work, my day was almost over and I started to feel an aching pain in my lower stomach. I had battled with diverticulitis in the past and thought that this was just another bout with the disease, where food can get caught in pockets in the intestines causing infection and pain. I went home and after a few hours the pain was becoming worse. I went to the ER and they found that my lower colon had burst and that I would eventually need surgery to remove 18 inches of my lower colon. The Doctor told me, I was lucky that I came in, because the infection was really bad and I could have died. After a week in the hospital I went home and was told to heal up and that I should have the surgery in a few months so that the inflammation would heal up before pursuing operating on me. As it turned out I didn’t have to wait that long.
     On December 22nd I was sick again, this time it was my gall bladder, it need to be removed.  After talking with the surgeon with my family present at the time, I decided to go ahead and have the surgery on Christmas eve. They were going to remove 18″ of my lower colon, my gall bladder and have my belly button hernia all repaired in the same surgery. Needless to say, I wasn’t having a good time and the holidays weren’t so Merry.
     I did however find a reason to rejoice. When I was admitted on the 22nd, there was an elderly man in the bed next to mine, he was on some kind of machine that seemed like it was helping him breathe. As I was resting in my bed I heard the doctor say to him, ” Mr. Antoinette,  It doesn’t look very good for you and you may want to make sure you take care of things fast.”  At first I couldn’t believe I heard the doctor say that loud enough that I could hear it, but I was startled by the unusual Italian name that I had only heard once before in my life. One of my best friends from middle school turned out to be his son. Immediately the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to approach him about his eternity. So I used the reason that I knew his son’s from my past, as an opportunity to approach him. He told me that Pete and Tony ( the older brother) are his sons . I told him that I heard what the doctor said to him and that if he wasn’t sure about where he’d go after this life, that he could know for sure. He started telling me that he was a choir boy and things like that, but I told him that was all good, but there is only one way that we can make it to heaven and that is through the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ. I asked him, because I knew that his time was short, if he would like to accept Jesus Christ and be forgiven of his sins. Praise God he said YES!!  He prayed with me and accepted Christ into his heart!!   A few hours later, with his sons by his side, they moved him to another room, so that he would be alone as he passed from this world. On his way out he had the nurses stop at my bed, I grabbed his arm and I told him” the Lord is with you Mr. Antonetti.” He died a about a half hour later.
     The next day his son came to the hospital and thanked me and gave me his fathers cross that he was wearing. I know Mr. Antonetti’s  with the Lord right now, and that God divinely had me in the right place to help harvest him into eternity. We are God’s mouthpiece and he can use us in any situation we are in. We just need to remember that we are ALWAYS IN THE HARVEST.-George Jones
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Antinomianism means “against the law.”  This is an unbiblical teaching that believers no longer have a responsibility to God’s moral laws.  While we are free from the ceremonial law and lifestyle and the national law of Israel, we still must obey God’s moral laws such as don’t kill, lie, commit adultery, steal, etc.  Neither the reformers or the early church taught this, but it was taught by the cult of the Gnostics and by several unbiblical cults today.  Strangely, this false teaching is spreading through the churches.

The false teaching sounds like this, ” since God forgave our sins, past, present, and future, we don’t have to confess our sins.”  This is in direct conflict with the teachings of Jesus who told His apostles before he left to teach all things He commanded which includes the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer where we are commanded to pray, “forgive us our trespasses.”  The false teaching explains that Jesus’ commands are old covenant, which would mean that Jesus spent 3 years teaching an old wineskin message.  If Jesus had taught an old covenant message, they would never have crucified Him.  Even John Calvin, the first Calvinist, taught that believers needed to confess their sins.

Much of this teaching is fueled by Joseph Prince, Pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore.  I have found that his biblical interpretations are in opposition to the reformers, the early church fathers, and the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles.

At the root of this teaching are two things:  1)  A misunderstanding of law and grace;  2)  A departure from biblical teaching.  There are 3 parts to the law:  the ceremonial law,  the national law, and the moral law.  We are completely released from the ceremonial and national law in the Old Testament.  But, every believer has a biblical responsibility to keep God’s moral law by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Secondly, many churches have departed from teaching God’s word.  At a popular ministry conference, one nationally known megachurch pastor instructed pastors to stop saying, “the bible says….”  If there ever was a time we need to get back to the bible, it is today.  Believers who are established in the truth of the bible cannot be easily deceived by false teaching.

Contemporary Evangelical theologian J.I. Packer defines 5 strains of Antinomianism:

  • Dualistic Antinomianism (Gnostic) This view sees salvation as for the soul only, and bodily behavior as irrelevant both to God’s interest and the soul’s health…
  • Spirit-centered Antinomianism …puts such trust in the Holy Spirit’s inward prompting as to deny any need to be taught by the law how to live. Freedom from the law as a way of salvation is assumed to bring with it freedom from the law as a guide to conduct.
  • Christ-centered Antinomianism …argues that God sees no sin in believers, because they are in Christ, who kept the law for them, and therefore what they actually do makes no difference, provided that they keep believing.
  • Dispensational Antinomianism …denies that biblical law is God’s direct command and affirms that the Bible’s imperative statements trigger the Word of the Spirit, which when it comes may or may not correspond exactly to what is written.
  • Situationist Antinomianism …says that a motive and intention of love is all that God now requires of Christians, and the commands of the Decalogue and other ethical parts of scripture, for all that they are ascribed to God directly, are mere rules of thumb for loving, rules that love may at times disregard.[10]    

The classic Methodist commentator Adam Clarke held,

“The Gospel proclaims liberty from the ceremonial law: but binds you still faster under the moral law. To be freed from the ceremonial law is the Gospel liberty; to pretend freedom from the moral law is Antinomianism.”
Sin seperates us from God.  Unconfessed sin in the life of a believer will seperate them from fellowship with God, and open them up to deceiving spirits.  Keep a short account with God.  Pray daily for His cleansing.
Another source of this error is thinking that the promises of God are automatic.  All of the promises are accessed by ongoing prayer.  God promises healing and provided for such in the atonement, but we have to pray and ask for healing.  God promises to provide financial needs, but we have to pray it in as the need arises.  We can’t just pray the sinner’s prayer and then assume that the promises are automatic because they are not.  Everything in the Lord’s Prayer can be accessed only through daily prayer.  “Give us this day our daily bread…”  Why do we have to pray that if God already promised it to us?  Everything God has flows to us through the pipeline of prayer.  Jesus explained in John 15 that we are like branches in a vine.  We must abide in Jesus through constant praying which is a joy and not a burden to those who love Him.
The biblical term for antinomianism is lawlessness.  One extreme is legalism, the other extreme is lawlessness.  Jesus corrected wrong thinking about the law in the Sermon on the Mount.  In this great teaching, Jesus taught against legalism and lawlessness.  Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Read Full Post »

Acts:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me[a] in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Jesus was in the business of spreading good news, the gospel.  The Gospels of Luke and Acts have the same author, Dr. Luke, one of the twelve apostles.  The Book of Acts is a continuation of the gospel message in Luke’s gospel, not a separate group of stories.  What Jesus began in His earthly ministry He continues through the work of His church in Acts.  Luke tells the story of the first three years of the gospel and Acts tells the next 30 years of the gospel being taken to the ends of the earth.

The gospel message has 2 parts, water baptism (repentance), and Spirit baptism (empowerment).  A gospel of repentance only without the power is a partial and incomplete gospel.  Paul predicted a time when the church would have a form of Godliness, but would deny the power of God.  In recent years, I have seen the rise of a gospel that de-emphasizes repentance and focuses on God’s power.  Jesus told of this kind of thing happening in the last days in Matthew 7.  We need both repentance and power in our lifestyle and our message.  Without both, our message is incomplete.

The apostles had a burning question for their risen Lord, “…will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  Jesus replied, “…it is not for you to know…”   When did this command of Jesus get cancelled?  Nearly every false cult has started with a “fresh revelation” of the end time events.  Many revival movements have been distracted and derailed from their calling by a fascination with last days signs.  While it is healthy to be familiar with end time bible prophecies, it is not our focus.

Our focus should be receiving God’s power to be His witnesses and taking His gospel to the ends of the earth.  We have a calling, a mission that is clearly laid out in scripture.  We don’t need a new prophetic word to go and be witnesses, His written word has given us our directive.

The first part of the gospel is to get right with God.  The second part of the gospel is to be His witness and spread the good news everywhere.  We have a God-given mission.  Let’s be about our Father’s business. -Jeff Burke

Read Full Post »

I heard a professional who counseled fallen ministers say that it isn’t the big things that cause Christian leaders to have moral failure. Almost all of them admit that their relationship with God suffered shipwreck when they stopped doing the basics: praying and bible study.

You never get too advanced to study God’s word and pray. So give attention
to your devotional life on a daily basis and you will find that God is strengthening you from the inside out.

When God’s word is received in faith, the supernatural power of God is released in your life.  If, “one word from God can change your life,”  imagine what could happen when you stay in the word on a daily basis.  Man can’t live (spiritually) by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  The bible is “God-breathed” and as such possesses God’s Spirit of life.

Read Full Post »

Jesus compared our experience with His Spirit to an artesian well that just bubbles up from underground. Living on the west coast of Florida, we are surrounded by rivers that originate from freshwater springs.

These springs are continuously flowing and are very clean and pure because of the source, the aquifer. Some of this water found its way there over a hundred years ago. We can only live in true holiness when God is our source. Are you walking in the Spirit?

The temperature of this water is also consistent, regardless of the weather and outside environment. It’s not hot one day or cold the next. It stays in the low 70’s at all times. The proper response to every circumstance is faith, not emotion or feelings. Our circumstances will change like the weather, but our faith should not. In every situation we can say, “it is well with my soul.”

There is a natural attraction to these springs to enjoy swimming, tubing, kayaking, fishing, and diving. When we are in the flow of God’s Spirit people will seek us out for prayer, comfort, peace, healing, and God’s love. Get in the river and be His answer in the lives of others who are lost without God. People are hungry and thirsty for this life we live in God’s presence. Tell someone today how great it is to live this Christian life and invite them to jump into the river.

Read Full Post »

Rainy Days

Some see rainy days as a disruption in their schedule and an obstacle, but not farmers. They see them as part of the natural cycle. God doesn’t take off on rainy days. He’s still there to bless, forgive, and guide us. So don’t overlook the value of a rainy day. Once while sitting through several days of a hurricane with no electricity, I used the time to catch up on some books I wanted to read and to spend time in prayer. The effect of a rainy day on us is determined more by our attitude than by the weather report. In the book of Acts, God used storms in the life of Paul in several unusual ways. The sailors saw it as their worst nightmare, Paul saw it as God’s hand at work. Be encouraged. He’s the God of the sunshine and the rain.

Read Full Post »