Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Why Do Christians Have Trouble Confronting Homosexuality?

January 9, 2011 2 comments

When confronting the issue of homosexuality for some reason Christians seem at a loss as to how to deal with it. How do you minister to a person living a homosexual lifestyle? What do you do if an openly gay person wants to teach in Sunday School, Youth Group, Children’s Church, sing in the praise team, etc? Ask these questions to any minister or active church goer and they almost become paralyzed and don’t know quite how to respond. The reason for this is because the Church has been tricked into believing that LGBT is like a race, nationality, ethnic group, gender, etc. So saying that the homosexual lifestyle is sinful is equivalent to saying that being African American, or Hispanic is sinful. Its on the same level of saying that being a Woman is wrong. So we are tricked into believing that we are on the same level as members of the KKK or Nazis if we speak against homosexuality.

This is a LIE straight from the pit of Hell. “Gay” is not a race, nationality, ethnic group, gender, etc. It is a sinful destructive lifestyle just like any other sinful lifestyle. It is no different than drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual immorality, prostitution, idolatry, etc. Satan’s goal here is simply to deceive the Church into accepting Sin as normal. It makes no difference if they are born that way or not. The Bible says that we are ALL born into the curse of Sin and are born with the instinctive nature to live a life of disobedience and rebellion toward God. So I guess you could say, we are ALL “born that way”.

When someone asks me a question like, “What should I do if a homosexual wants to teach Sunday School?” I simply respond, “What would you do if a drug addict or drunk wanted to teach Sunday School?” Most people say that they would definitely not let anyone living such a lifestyle teach or have a ministry or leadership position in the church. Why should homosexuality be any different. Its a sinful lifestyle just like the lifestyle of drunkenness is. We shouldn’t elevate it to something its not. Whenever we have questions on dealing with this issue, it is extremely helpful to take out the word “homosexual” and replace it with the word “drug addict” or “alcoholic”. Then we clearly see the appropriate response in each scenario.

Categories: bible, debate, god, religion Tags: , , , , ,

Spirts Baptism Separate and Subsequent from Salvation

“For John baptized you with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

                                                                                                               -Acts 1:5

There a quite a few Christians that accept the scriptural validity of the Spirits Baptism. After all, it is mentioned by name in all four of the Gospels as well as in the book of Acts. What people question is the teaching that a believer receives the Baptism in the Holy Spirit AFTER they have been saved. Some maintain that salvation and the Spirits Baptism are one and the same. In this blog, I will with the backing of scripture demonstrate how the Separate and Subsequent teaching is valid.

Fist there are the Apostles. After his resurrection, Jesus remained on the earth for forty days then he ascended to heaven(Acts 1:3). The apostles did not receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit until ten days later(Acts 2:1-4). We know from Christs words that the Apostles were indeed saved before the day of Pentecost.

“However, do not rejoice that the evil spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
                               -Luke 10:20

We can see from this verse that the apostles names were already “written in heaven” prior to Pentecost making their experience of the Spirits Baptism a separate and subsequent work.

The next passage is most compelling, and most supportive of the separate and subsequent teaching.

“When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”        Acts 8:14-17

In this passage we find people who are clearly believers. The verses above state that these people have “accepted the word of God”, and have been “baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus”. This passage also clearly says that these people had not received the Holy Spirit. Now, if it is true that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation, how can this passage be valid? According to that line of thinking this passage doesn’t make any sense. How can someone be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts us of sin, reveals to us Gods salvation through Christ, and regenerates us. He indwells in every believer. As was the case in the people described in the above passage. What they had not received was the Baptism in the Spirit. This is a clear demonstration that the Spirits Baptism is a Separate and Subsequent work from Salvation and only occurs after one is Born Again, not at the same time, and certainly not before.

“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
   They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.'”
                                                                                             -Acts 19:1-2

This is always an interesting passage to read. Here the Apostle Paul encounters some disciples. We know that these are disciples following Christ and not disciples of John the Baptist or pseudo-Christians for one distinct reason. The word “disciple”(Greek mathetes) occurs thirty times in the book of Acts. All the times before and after this passage it always means a disciple of Jesus. The only exception is in Acts 9:25 when the word “his” is used to designate a disciple of Paul. There is no reason being as meticulous and technical in his writing as the writer of Acts was, that he would deviate from his standard usage of that word. Once again, we see from this passage people who are followers of Christ but had not yet received the Spirits Baptism.

Some people argue that the book of Acts does indeed clearly illustrate examples of believers receiving the Spirits Baptism after and separate from their initial converseion. They maintain that because those are historical accounts they cannot be used to formulate doctrine. That although Acts does record the Spirits Baptism in such a way, it is nowhere commanded in scripture that it must happen that way. What proponents of this idea fail to realize is that each writer of scripture must be understood in their own terms and styles. Luke is viewed by most biblical scholars as a theologian as much as he is a historian. To the point that he clearly shows his theology through his telling of historical accounts. In other words, the reason Luke recorded the Spirits Baptism occurring separate and subsequent from salvation is because he believes that to be theologically correct.

If you are a Born Again follower of Christ but have not yet received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to study the subject in God’s Word, pray for the fullness of the Spirit, and openly receive this blessing so that you may be empowered to live for God, and be an effective wittiness for Christ.

“The Church is FULL of Hypocrites!” This is false.

One of the most common objections and charges brought against the Church is that it is full of hypocrites. This is false. I know, that’s a substantial claim. First let me define what I mean by the word, “hypocrite”. If a Christians wakes up at 2am for a late nights snack and while wondering around in the dark stubs his toe and lets a four letter cuss word slip out, he is not a hypocrite. That was an accident, a mistake. He doesn’t make a habit of using profanity. He let his flesh get the best of him in that moment. However, if a Christian constantly has profanity rolling from his tongue, sleeps around, lives a life of drunkenness, gossip, anger, selfishness, and willingly knowingly continues to live a life of Sin while claiming to be a follower of Christ, that person is a hypocrite, and people maintain that the Church is full of them. This is because of their misunderstanding of the Church. People think that the Church is the four square building with a steeple on top of it. They think that the people in the Church are the people who sit on the pues on Sundays. The Bible says that the Church is the Body of Christ which consists of only true believers(1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Hypocrites are pretenders among God’s people like goats among sheep, bad fish among good fish, weeds among wheat until the day when God separates them at Judgment. The Bible says that hypocrites are false converts, false brethren, and imposters(2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Galatians 2:4, 2 John 1:9-11). Christians are commanded in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 not to have anything to do with hypocrites. Jesus said that they would end up in Hell(Matthew 24:51). In short, there are no hypocrites in the Church. If a person is hypocrite, they are not a Christian, and are therefore not part of the Church.

Do I NEED to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit?

Before Jesus ascended to Heaven he commanded his disciples to go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel. However, you will notice that he instructed them not to carry out the “great commision” immeditely.

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
-Luke 24:49

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

-Acts 1:4-5

Jesus made it clear. Altough he wanted his followers to continue his mission in his absence and go out into to the world to do the work of the ministry, he did not want them doing this without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The reason being is because the work of the ministry as well as the life of a Christian is tough work as it is. In addition to this, there are outside forces internal, external, and spiritual working against us. We need to be Supernaturally Empowered to do what we are called to do. Jesus also told his followers that this was indeed the purpose of the Spirits Baptism.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

-Acts 1:8

That is why I teach that being Baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues is the most important thing that can happen to a person next to being Born Again. I say, and as you can see our Lord does too, that once a person becomes a Christian they should immediately begin seeking the Baptism in the Holy Spirit so that they may be empowered to do the work God was called them to do, and be the person God has called them to be. If you have not received this blessing, seek it today.

“My God” wouldn’t send anyone to Hell.

For those who have said something similar to this statement, do you realize what you are doing when you say that? By saying, “my god wouldn’t…”, or “my god would…” you are creating a god to suit yourself. The Bible calls that Idolatry. God has clearly revealed himself and who he is in his Word. When we make up an image in our heads that is contrary to what the Bible reveals about him we make a False God. You may claim that your god wouldn’t send anyone to Hell and your right. Thats because he doesn’t exist. The Bible says that no Idolater will inherit the kingdom of God. God is a just god. The Bible says that when we die we will all have to face God at Judgment. On that day he will expose and bring out into the open everything we have ever done, said, and even thought about and bring them into judgment under the light of God’s Law(the Ten Commandment). Then there will be no excuses, no way to justify ourselves. The evidence against will be plain, and indisputable. The verdict of “Guilty” will be certain, and the Judge will give us our just punishment in Hell. Thank God that he sent his Son Jesus to pay the penalty for our crimes on the cross. He paid our debt, paid our fine. If we turn from our sins(repent) and trust in the Savior, will be forgiven, cleanses, pardoned, set free, and granted Eternal Life in Heaven. We will also be Born Again, given a new life, and a new heart. How much time do you have left?

God is NOT “All Loving”

November 30, 2010 1 comment

At first glance, the title of this post may seem blasphemous. However, a closer look into the subject reveals that it not. A lot of people make the claim that God is “All Loving”. He is most certainly not. People object claiming that the Bible says that God is all loving. That is a misunderstanding. The Bible says that “God is love” not that God is all loving. There is a difference. Saying that God is “All Loving” implies that God is a slave to love, that being loving is his only quality. This is absolutely false. The Bible also very clearly states that God is a god of holiness, righteousness, justice, anger, and wrath. Now some people accept that this is true and use it to try and show that there is a contradiction in God’s character saying that no “Loving God” could give anyone justice, anger, and wrath. That makes no sense. Let me use an analogy to explain. Suppose a man sexually abused children, tortured them, slit their throats, and said he would do it all over again if he were only given the chance. Should a judge punish this man? You may say, “well of course!” But what if that judge is a loving judge? Should he still punish those who do wrong? If a human judge who he himself is flawed, knows how to punish those who do wrong, how much more will the perfect, holy, judge of the universe punish those who do wrong. Not only will he see to it that murderers, rapists, etc receive their just punishment. He will punish all evil. He will also punish the adulterers, thieves, blasphemers, liars, etc. Look at the standard by which God said he will judge us by on Judgment Day(the Ten Commandments). Look at them like a mirror. What reflection do you see? Have you ever told a lie? What does that make you? A Liar. Have you ever stolen anything regardless of its size or value? What does that make you? A thief. Have you ever used God’s name in vain or as a cuss word? Thats called blasphemy, its a very serious sin in God’s sight. Jesus said if you look with lust, you commit adultery in your heart. Have you ever looked with lust? If you said yes to these, then you admit to being a lying blasphemous, thief, and an adulterer at heart. Thats only four of the Ten Commandments. Listen to your conscience. You will be guilty on your “day” in “court” and deserving of your punishment in Hell. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell. He sent his Son Jesus Christ to this earth 2,000 years ago to take your punishment on the cross, to pay the penalty for your crimes, to pay your debt, to pay your fine. If you confess, forsake, and turn you back on your sins(repent) and your old way of living and put your trust and faith in Christ you will be forgiven, pardoned, cleansed, set free, and granted Eternal Life and the promise of Heaven. You will be Born Again, given a new heart and a new life. Repent and trust in the Saviour today, while your heart still beats.

Categories: debate, religion Tags: , , , , ,

My Experience with the Spirits Baptism

I have found that most people take facts, proof, evidence, etc with a grain of salt. You can prove almost anything these days. What people want is something real. They want to hear it from people who have been there, who have touched and experienced it. In my previous posts I explained how the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues as a separate and subsequent work from and after salvation is strongly backed up by scripture. In this post, I want to share with you my experience. During the summer of 2003 I began doing my own research on the subject of the Spirits Baptism. I had heard of it before, but I wanted to examine it for myself. What I found was that it was indeed a doctrine supported by the Bible. So I began seeking the Baptism. As I prayed for this daily and continued seeking it in Gods word, the Holy Spirit began “wettening” my appetite for more of the Spirit. For the fullness of the Spirit. I began to earnestly hunger and thirst for more of Christ in my life. I wanted to live a life of power as the early Christians did. In the month of August 2003 I hit a bit of low point. I was downcast, depressed, and frustrated at many things going on in my life. My only response was to fall on my knees and cry out to God. Through the tears I couldn’t even pray, I could only say the sweet name of Jesus. Then something happened that I will never forget. I felt as though God suddenly poured out all his presence, power, strength, love, joy, and peace over me like a mighty flood. It was overwhelming. I then began to speak in tongues as a result. After the experience I was never the same. The way I lived was different. They way I thought was different. Even the way I talked was different. My Christian walk changed dramatically. When I prayed it wasn’t merely a repetition of requests, petitions, and empty words. It was conversation with the Living God. It was a prayer life of POWER. The way I read the Bible changed as well. It was no longer a bunch words in a book. As I read it, it became ALIVE and jumped out at me and changed me as I read it. I felt free to worship God in ways I couldn’t before. I experienced a new desire to live for God and the empowerment to live for him as well. I felt a new zeal to reach out to the lost along with the boldness to do so. My walk with God changed dramatically after the Spirits Baptism. I was on fire to say the least. My Experience with the Spirits Baptism mirrored by the experiences of others I have never met confirm its reality. God wants you to experience this blessing too. Seek him to day, and be FILLED with the Holy Spirit. Posted by 1stAGSmithfieldNC at 5:52 AM Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Google Buzz

Categories: religion, trends