Through the Narrow: Where Is Your Fear Of The Lord? – By Tami Dykes

Where Is Your Fear Of The Lord?    

Do you have any fear of the Lord? I can tell you according to Scriptures God says we should fear Him. This is a problem for many people. Many don’t think it’s right to fear the Lord because why would a loving God bring fear to their children?   

Fear of the Lord is something different than just being scared of Him or fearing for your life or feeling terror…it’s having respect and reverence for Him as our Lord.  I love Him and respect Him and I know He is a just God and He rewards and punishes those He loves and having fear of the Lord is right and holy and it’s fear that keeps me humble and keeps me seeking Him. Hebrews 12:28–29~ Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.   

Another verse Proverbs 1:7~ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.   

I have joy and peace in the Lord and when I sin there is a degree of separation from God for a time that I fear. I instantly know I’ve stepped out of His will that has protected me and I feel the separation of his presence. Isaiah 59:2~ But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.   

It brings shame, guilt and I can even feel nauseous. He knows what I’ve done or didn’t do, said, thought, or felt that brings me so much sadness. The separation hurts because you know He can’t be with you when you are in sin and all you feel is regret and disappointment in your own self. Then as always, Scriptures remind you of how loving and forgiving God is because He offers repentance. God will not leave or forsake Christians that do sin. We experience separation from our Lord as a form of discipline to grow us. Those that don’t believe in God don’t have a fear of Him or His judgment which only leads to the worst separation of all, the eternal separation from God. 
   

People that read the Bible, attend a Biblical church, and bear the name Christian should have no excuse to not fear the Lord. In my last article, I spoke on how short life is and where people may spend eternity. I spoke of several that were shown mercy by God and saved such as the blind man and the thief on the cross. Both were able to understand their need for forgiveness and salvation when they met Jesus and didn’t reject Him. However, there are people that claim to be Christians and believers in Christ that write books and hold studies and even serve as Pastors that live without fear of the Lord. They teach others a false God and blaspheme His character and tag God’s name on teachings that are NOT Biblical at all. These teachings are done without having fear of the Lord or the fear of consequence in any way for going against God. They don’t seem to be worried about the false teachings they spout that God never taught. They didn’t seem to show any concern that they put more faith in their own feelings than the truth in what God actually tells us in the Scriptures.    

The deaths of a well know man and woman come to mind with this subject. The first one is Billy Graham. He died on February 21, 2018, at the age of 99. He seemed to have changed his belief from his younger years as one that believed the only way to heaven was through Jesus, compared to his later years of believing there were many ways to heaven. In an interview with ‘Robert Schuller, Graham is asked, “What’s the future of Christianity”.  Graham says, “The body of Christ that comes from all the Christian groups from around the world or outside the Christian groups from around the World I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ whether they are conscious of it or not, they’re members of the body of Christ. And that is what God is doing today, He’s calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their heart they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.    

       

Ok, lots to unpack here. If people can be saved without knowing God or knowing the Gospel then why does God tell us to go out into the world to find those that “don’t know God” and preach the gospel? Graham believed people who are outside the Biblical Christian groups are saved, meaning they are not Christian and are non-believers. This doesn’t sound like the Gospel of Christ as written in the Scriptures. Let Scriptures reveal the truth to you, read Matthew 7:21-23 where we are told not everyone who calls on Him will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of the Father. They are to know God’s will, which means they need to know God. In Mark 16:15-16, we are commanded togo into the entire world and preach the gospel to everyone,“He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This clearly points out you can’t be an unbeliever and be saved.  It’s just not going to happen. John 14:6~“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 1 Corinthians 1:17~ “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”       

These verses explain why people can NOT find their way to God in any other way except through knowing and believing in Jesus Christ. We cannot be Muslim, or Buddhist, or a non-believer and still, be saved. How can a non-believer be of the body of Christ if they don’t believe in Jesus?  If a person is truly saved, they would only claim to be a believer in Christ. Remember, “He who does not believe will be condemned.”Graham’s words and God’s words contradict each other.       

Graham says that They may not even know the name of Jesus so they turn to the only light they have and will be in heaven.”    

Ok, so let’s think about this…How can we believe in something we don’t believe in? How can you love or even know something you are not conscious of? How can we be aware of something we aren’t aware of? How can we know something we didn’t know? Scriptures even tell us in Romans 10:14~ “How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? Good question! We all know that Graham was a preacher but he wasn’t saying what people needed to hear. Graham should have been bold and said that if they don’t know Jesus and are a non-believer or practicing Buddhists, or Muslims then they are not saved. All kinds of false religions say they believe in God but their god is not the God of the Bible. You can’t go to heaven believing in a different God like the god of Buddha or the god of the Muslims or the god of “Everyone can get to heaven without believing in Jesus” god.     

In Deuteronomy 6:14 and Jeremiah 25:6 we are warned not to go after other gods.Isaiah 44:6 says “besides me, there is no god.” With Graham being a pastor it’s very strange that he credits a “light” to salvation when he says, “they turn to the only light they have.” Salvation is through Jesus, not through having a light. If they are turning to the only light they have yet it’s not from Jesus, then it’s not of God, and if it’s not of God, it’s not the true light they need. Their light is counterfeit and weak. I might also add that Satan is “LIGHT” too! 2 Corinthians 11:14~And no wonder, for Satan himself, masquerades as an angel of light.”      

In another interview, Larry King asks Billy if God loves Satan, all he said was, “Well, he created him as Lucifer. In the 22nd of Ezekiel, it tells us about it, and he must love him, but the end of Satan is hell. Hell was created for the devil and his angels, or his demons, not for men.” Then King asked if he thought homosexuality is a sin. Graham says he believes marriage is between a man and a woman. Then King says, “If homosexuality isn’t a choice, it can’t be a sin. Right?” Graham says, “Well, maybe. God will make that judgment, not me. I’m not deciding who’s a sinner and who is not.” King says, “How about abortion?” Graham says, “Same thing.” King asks him if he is against it totally and Graham says, “yes but I won’t get involved in it.” King asks if he believes it’s the taking of a life and Graham says yes, he does. King says, “But to protect the life of a mother you would permit it, right? I think you said that.” Graham says,“Oh, yes.”     

(you can find both links to these interviews at bottom of this article)    

       

With Graham being a preacher, his job is to warn the sheep of dangers and keep them safe. Doesn’t that mean for him to warn when something is sin and that Jesus is the ONLY way? Anyone that teaches the Word of God needs to be careful in handling God’s Word, and be very respectful of it, don’t you think?  As Christians, we should know what sin is yet every time King asks Graham if something was a sin Graham never just says, yes, it’s a sin. He just gave what appears to be his opinion on things and then tells the viewers that God judges, not him and that he’s not deciding who’s a sinner and who is not. He had a platform in which to speak the truth and point people to Christ but doesn’t. Oh, I understand his fear, I’ve been there and it’s not easy. I’ve upset many but you do it anyway. We either have a fear of man or we have a fear of God. Obviously, Graham had more of a fear of man because he doesn’t speak the truth. Graham makes the statement that Christians don’t judge. So, how are we to discern God’s commands if we are not allowed to judge sin or discern right from wrong? Having discernment means knowing right from wrong according to the law of God. If God says not to commit adultery, to keep the marriage bed pure, do not murder then to do any of that as a Christian or preacher or pastor means to know it’s a sin. Graham should have exposed the sin and said, yes, homosexuality is a sin, yes abortion is murder and murder is sin. Graham taught that he doesn’t judge sin and everyone goes to heaven. What’s troubling is Graham did teach some good things so it makes him look good but then turned around and contradicted God’s own Scriptures. When Graham says “God must love Satan because God made him” makes light of Satan. Satan is evil, why would God love evil? He doesn’t. Psalm 11:5The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.   

Psalm 5:5~  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.   

There is a perfect answer to this simple question with the following link below, “No, God does not love Satan, and neither should we. God cannot love that which is evil and unholy, and Satan embodies all of that. He is the enemy (1 Peter 5:8); the evil one (Matthew 6:13); the father of lies and a murderer (John 8:44); the accuser of God’s people (Revelation 12:10); the tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); proud, wicked and violent (Isaiah 14:12-15); a deceiver (Acts 13:10); a schemer (Ephesians 6:11); a thief (Luke 8:12); and many more evil things. He is, in fact, everything that God hates. The heart of Satan is fixed and confirmed in his hatred of God, his judgment is final, and his destruction is sure. Revelation 20 describes God’s future plan for Satan, and love for Satan has no part in it.”   

https://www.gotquestions.org/does-God-love-Satan.html

There is a very popular yet unbiblical saying that goes around in the Christian community, “God loves the sinner and hates the sin”. Although that seems loving for a God to love, love, and love some more and love everyone even if you live in sin, it’s just not biblical. We need to understand that it’s the sinner that is thrown into Hell, not the sin.   

Sadly, Graham is still leading people astray today with those videos and interviews even though he is gone. Where was Graham’s fear of the Lord? Saying those things should have convicted him instantaneously. I noticed when King asked a question about a certain sin; Graham never truly addressed it or called it sin or quotes Scriptures of what God says about it. He just gently reminds the viewers that God forgives whatever sin you have. Nothing is said about them needing to repent and ask for forgiveness. Many will see it as they don’t need to repent because God loves the sinner and automatically forgive us.   

Next, the woman I referred to is Rachel Held Evans, she died May 4, 2019, at the age of 37, and left behind a husband and two children. She died so young and so suddenly it was a shock to many people. She wrote books, had blogs and many believed in her teachings to be good. None of that is wrong until you look at what it was she actually taught. Long story short, she taught that God is not a ‘dude’ (her words) and has referred to God as a woman and mother at different times. She supports LGBTQ causes and contradicts what God says women’s roles are in the church and denies and rejects the authority of God’s Word and teachings.         

For more information on RHE, Michelle Lesley provides info below with attached links as well.  https://michellelesley.com/2016/10/10/the-mailbag-do-you-recommend-these-teachersauthors-volume-2/       

I know many believe that talking ill of the dead is wrong and disrespectful but I say it’s downright evil to speak ill of the Lord and make Him out to be something He’s not. Rachel has disrespected God and His teachings in the things she has said about Him. It’s out of respect for God and His Truth that I speak of her false teachings because we should not hold our tongue when it comes to exposing lies and sharing the truth of the Scriptures. According to God, we are to warn of false teachings and that’s more important than respecting someone’s death. I’m sure people could say she was a nice person but the deception and poison she taught to the thousands of her followers are very concerning and wrong. What is more concerning for her is if she never repented of them, God will hold her responsible for every careless word she spoke and taught. Matthew 12:35–37~“The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, son the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”       

I knew nothing of Rachel until a few days after she died. I saw pictures of her posted on Facebook by several different people and became curious about who she was and why so many were posting about her. I discovered many things about her beliefs but it was an article by Pastor Gabriel Hughes that shocked me most and showed where she stood just weeks before she died. I was disheartened by the deadly teachings she spewed just shortly before her last breath. She defended her beliefs in her comments to the very end of her write-up to Pastor Gabriel which was concerning a video he made titled, “Is God a Woman?”, below       

Gabriel says, “Though I will never have another opportunity to address Rachel, what she taught continues to damage the souls of countless thousands of people, and will do so for many more years. What I had prepared to say to her, I say now for the sake of those misled by her teaching.”       

Below is Pastor Gabriel article; http://pastorgabehughes.blogspot.com/2019/06/remembering-and-responding-to-rachel.html       

Her beliefs were so disturbing but my heart truly hurts for her. I found it surprising that not knowing anything of her before; I would now suddenly find my heart so sad concerning her. I then started thinking of those who are still being fed her books and teachings. Sadly, and unfortunately, there is no more we can do for Rachel. No one can try to reach out to her and help her see her unbiblical ways; no one can help her know the truth of who God is. It’s too late. What time we Christians do have should be to fight for the faith, to fight for the Truth. Her very last act as a living, breathing human being was to take that dark stand and completely destroy the truth of who God is, and then suddenly, just 3 short days after that she became seriously ill and put into the hospital with the flu and infection. She died about 3 weeks later. No one knows if she could have been aware enough to even repent of all that. She could have, but no one knows. Even if she did repent, she left behind teachings that many will still be hurt by today and will cause some to doubt God for years to come. Rachel Held Evans is described as a progressive Christian author but I don’t think of her as a Christian because she taught a different God and a different Bible and she had no fear of the Lord even up to her last posts with Pastor Gabriel.    

Links to Billy Graham’s interviews below.       

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0506/16/lkl.01.html       



Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford

Merry Christmas! Excerpt from Spurgeon

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all having a very merry Christmas! Below is from today’s reading of Spurgeon’s daily devotion. It blessed me this morning as I rejoice in what the Lord has done. What love is this? While I was yet a sinner Christ died for me! Wretched, wicked, disobedient and ever wondering further and further, yet still in my hopeless state God the Son became man, bore the wrath saved up for me, died in my place, rose again, and ever lives to make intercession for His children. WOW! Praise God! Merry Christmas, beloved, as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

“Partakers of the divine nature.”

To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”; we become love–“He that loveth is born of God.” God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature in even a higher sense than this–in fact, in as lofty a sense as can be conceived, short of our being absolutely divine. Do we not become members of the body of the divine person of Christ? Yes, the same blood which flows in the head flows in the hand: and the same life which quickens Christ quickens his people, for “Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Nay, as if this were not enough, we are married unto Christ. He hath betrothed us unto himself in righteousness and in faithfulness, and he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Oh! marvellous mystery! we look into it, but who shall understand it? One with Jesus–so one with him that the branch is not more one with the vine than we are a part of the Lord, our Saviour, and our Redeemer! While we rejoice in this, let us remember that those who are made partakers of the divine nature will manifest their high and holy relationship in their intercourse with others, and make it evident by their daily walk and conversation that they have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. O for more divine holiness of life!

Wednesday Testimony – Luke Hahn: Follow Up Interview

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! You may remember, if you’ve followed this blog for long enough, that back in July of 2018 I posted a testimony by a gentleman names Luke Hahn. You can read that original post here. A dear sister, and gracious listener of the podcast, sent me an email with this link to a follow up interview he did. Thank you Cindy! It was such a blessing to watch this interview and hear these men discussing God’s sovereignty in suffering as well as salvation. The full interview is below, I hope it will be edifying for you all. As always, beloved brethren, be good Bereans and study to show yourselves approved.

Through the Narrow: Salvation Party – By Gina Cook

Years ago I was invited to attend a “salvation party” for a young lady who had just made a profession of faith in Christ. I’ll call her “Anne”.  It was the first time I had heard of such a party.  Out of profound curiosity and my heart for Anne, I went.  We gathered at a local restaurant, with cake and gifts in tow.

I noticed the people most excited were the ones throwing the party, the ones who had witnessed to her.  Anne sat appearing unsure and distant.  

One could think she was just an introvert who didn’t like the fuss of a party, or that it was a bit too silly for her taste- I would have agreed with her.  Perhaps she was thinking what I was thinking….is she…. saved?  I silently prayed for her and tossed around in my head the question, “how did anyone really know she was saved when she was saved a few days ago?”  I mean, salvation is worthy of celebration, don’t get me wrong, yet she had just come to faith and from what I was hearing and seeing from her there was no fruit, no evidence, and most noticeably, no joy. 

Sadly, a brief amount of time later, she fully returned to her old lifestyle with limited interest of anything Christian.  I would gather with the ladies who had been ministering to Anne and would hear concerns of how she was hard to get a hold of, not desiring to go to church, any church, and no longer interested to meet with them for Bible study.  It all seemed to be too much for Anne.

I may not have been entirely surprised but my heart hurt. After the gentle urging from those who had been discipling her and celebrating her salvation, she withdrew further and pushed every single Christian out of her life.  It was growing apparent that her salvation wasn’t true.  I can imagine the embarrassment she might have felt- leading these people to believe she was saved, having a party and investing so much time in her, being told she shouldn’t question her salvation, being embraced and encouraged as a Christian, not having those convictions herself and not being able to honestly walk the walk– I would imagine she just wanted to run and hide. 

I decided to bring it up with the few that encouraged her salvation party and asked why they were so sure Anne was saved.  They quickly responded with, “she said she believed in Jesus!”  “She asked for forgiveness!” “She was remorseful and sincere!”

But did she really WANT Jesus?  Was it true repentance?  Did they convince her or was she convicted? 

I believe it’s important to clarify that we don’t have to doubt a profession of faith from someone and tell them we cant believe it until they start showing consistent fruit.  That’s not supported in Scripture.  The problem is the premature celebrations and confident declarations of what has happened in someone else’s heart, especially when not looking at the glaring inconsistencies in their behavior.  We prayerfully hope for the genuineness of their faith while discipling them, loving them and reminding them to examine themselves.  

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

In Scripture, we read about people being saved, and with fervor for the Lord and His Word, they follow Him.  They desire to know His Word, to know Him, and obey Him.  We also read false followers can look the part at first but then drop the half-hearted desire to follow Christ as soon as the road gets a little bumpy or when the world lures them back into the cesspool of empty pleasures and promises.  

john-newton-quote-zeal-without-knowledge-is-like-expedition-to-a-man

“These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them.  In a similar way, these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy;  and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away.  And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.  And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:15-19

I remember telling those who loudly proclaimed of Anne’s salvation, no one should have to be convinced this hard to follow Christ and to read his Word if they are truly saved. No true Christian will bolt and hide from anything truly Christian.  No true Christian will have to be taken by the hand and pulled into church.

Even though the lady lacked good fruit, they still refused for a while to believe that they may have been presumptuous.  “Perhaps”, they said, “she needs to just be encouraged more in her salvation.”  Sadly, they already did that to her when they shouldn’t have.  Now she was running harder away from Christ.

A few years later, I saw “Anne” standing up in front of a church to give her testimony and to be baptized.  It seemed those ladies had been able to reach her again and “encourage” her.  I hoped perhaps she had finally come to faith and repentance.  Yet as soon as she opened her mouth, my heart sank.  I noticed in her testimony she seemed to be looking for Jesus and a feeling of salvation in her baptism.  Not sure how this passed the test of the leadership when they met with her prior, that’s another story for another day.  And just like before, she vanished shortly after.  The ladies tried again to encourage her in her salvation.  She was being pulled by Christians, without being led by the Holy Spirit.  

Sadly this lady wasn’t the first person I saw being prematurely lauded as a Christian.  In a Bible study I had been a part of for years, a new lady came in and listened to the Gospel.  She cried as it was presented to her.  The study leader decided to lead her in the sinners prayer, doing the “repeat after me” thing. 

The lady repeated the prayer with such emotion that it moved me, I must admit but after the prayer, the leader declared she was now saved.  The way it was said was off-putting.  “Welcome to the family!” He exclaimed. 

She was overjoyed.  After a few times of coming back to the study, we noticed the joy soon faded and she quickly darted fast and far away from anything truly Christian.  My heart sank as the months/years went by and she seemingly sprinted harder from the Lord.  

I wish those two women were the only false conversions I’ve witnessed over the years. It’s heartbreaking to see one profess then slip away, yet it’s even more heartbreaking to see it being encouraged by Christians who should know better.  They seem so eager to see these precious souls saved and to share with the world all about it that they fail to realize they may have encouraged a false convert to believe something that wasn’t true. 

You’ll find in most evangelical churches every single child in a particular family are baptized.  Like clockwork, each of their children around the age of five wanted Jesus.  First off, what small child in church doesn’t say that?  You are likely not to find one.  The parents continually remind them that they are Christian and to take communion despite very little, if any, fruit.  Then in their teen years they are given emotional highs in youth programs and camps and being told those highs, those tears, are the work of God in their hearts.  Christ is this super amazing cool Lord.  Three weeks later or so, no more highs and no more interest in Christ.  It saddens me to see the leadership getting in front of the church shortly after these kids make an emotionally driven profession and proclaiming they are in Christ, HAULLELUIA!  

Such exuberant and immediate declarations without a stitch of real fruit.  

One church leader used passages such as Acts 2:40-42 to explain why they believe we are to immediately celebrate professions and declare them saved:  

“And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.  They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” 

Actually, that passage makes my point exactly.  Notice the phrase, “Continually devoting”.  

A Christian will drop the world and follow Christ.  The will devote themselves to Him.  They will not have to be forced to worship the Lord, to care about His Word, to gather with other believers or to desire to live for Him.  They will be devoted to the truth.  They will desire to be baptized out of obedience.  They will devote to the Gospel.  Sure, they will need from other Christians direction, clarity, and encouragement to know better how to live for Christ, but they will be willing and ready. 

It’s also important to note what was going on at the beginning of the Church age, with Apostles uniquely moved by the Holy Spirit, isn’t exactly how it’s going to look, or necessarily should look, in the Church today.  

If a person knows the Gospel, seems to really desire to follow and obey Him and wants to baptized, that’s wonderful.  They should be baptized under the leadership of a sound church and be spurred on to good works.

There is no way we can read the heart of any person, we are not God (1 Kings 8:39 and Acts 15:8) but there is fruit that should show, especially in time.  There needs to be fruit of a changed life, changed perspective on sin, changed relationship goals, changed motives…etc.  When the people in Scripture came to true faith, they devoted themselves to the ways of Christ.  They didn’t need to be continually convinced and coerced to follow Him. The fervor to serve Him was evident.  They picked up their cross.  They grew in love and good works.  They had hope and joy.

So why do some church leaders feel compelled to decree and declare a professor’s salvation?  Why, when some of these professing Christians show no real fruit or when giving warning signs, christians around them sweep it under the rug and dismiss them, excusing it without question or discussion?  

Some pastors seem to hear the supposed salvation successes and frequent baptisms in other churches, as well as, reading passages such as the one above and believe that is what they are supposed to be experiencing in their own ministry.  Perhaps it stems from not seeing people saved and transformed so instead of trusting God and just being faithful with the preaching of the Word, they want to force the round peg in the square hole. They want Acts 2:41-42 to be their experience so bad that they neglect to remember the obvious – salvation comes when the Lord chooses it to.  It’s all to be done in His timing and in His way.  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;”  Ephesians 2:8.

“for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5.

Some leaders are weak in their own faith and begin to wonder where God is when the land seems barren.  They are desperate to see movement, to see life.  Many times they fabricate conversions without even knowing it.

With that all said, we have to remember we can’t always know if someone is a false convert.  Judas Iscariot fooled the other eleven (John 13:21-22),  Simon fooled Philip for a time with his deep interest and desiring to be baptized (Acts 8:9-24).  

Matthew 13:28-30 explains that it can be impossible to tell the difference.  Tares look almost identical to the wheat until the head matures.  That’s the devil’s scheme – to plant tares in the Church and grow discord.

The most sufficient way to protect against tares is Truth.  The whole, hard, sufficient, and unwavering Truth.  Be diligent, discerning, and dogmatic.  Truth reveals hearts.

“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?  It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him.  And He was saying, “For this reason, I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father. As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. John 6:60-68

The tares will not count the cost, will not stick around to follow Christ into the difficult places.  

“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19. 

We don’t get to declare the hearts of those who make a profession.  We aren’t to be their conviction.  Their salvation is between them and the Lord.  We encourage what the Scripture says about salvation, we urge them to go to Lord in repentance and faith and we trust the Lord to save whomever He saves.  And fruit matters.  Simply professing means nothing, especially when there is no cost. 

If we play the role of persuader and declarer we may very well encourage tares to ignore the constant nagging in their conscience that there is a problem with their relationship with the Lord.  The embarrassment of admitting the truth to all those who celebrated their salvation in a “rebirthday party” could prove to be their biggest stumbling block.

Have joy in someone’s profession of faith but know only the Lord can see the heart. Everyone must work out their salvation.  

Copy of It is only by retiring from the public view and getting alone with God that we can learn our own nothingness. A.W. Pink-3

Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford

 

ChristMarked: The Gospel of BLM – By Troy Paylor

The Gospel of BLM

This movement, many pastors are willing to tell their congregants to repent of their whiteness, but when it comes to the gospel of Jesus Christ you won’t tell them to repent and believe. The utter ugliness of such a movement, that doesn’t actually care about facts, doesn’t acknowledge God in all they do, rather their God and shrine is BLM which we know is a godless ideologies, whom by their atheistic standards is a purposeless, unguided universe, which in that account when you die, poof, that’s its, by their worldview. Yet they acclaim worth to humanity without acknowledging God, don’t fall victim to this false gospel, for it says because you are white you are the sinner, and if you are black you are god, but this isn’t true for it says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬. We know by the gospel of Jesus Christ that Christ has reconciled us to God, made us at peace with God, so if the gospel of Jesus Christ has enough power to bring us to peace with God it has enough power to change hearts and souls to where their identity isn’t their race, but a child of God. This BLM will try to strip you of your citizenship of heaven, and if they can’t do that, they will label you a racist as if your an alien of your time, but don’t fret dear Christian or fall victim to this, for Christ is the only way. Christ Jesus died and grafted is gentiles into the family of God with the Jews who have been saved and will be saved. Stay true to the gospel, don’t fall for BLM movement. It’s not a sin to be born white, because you too were also made in the image of God.

Nate-Pickowicz-Quote

This movement isn’t to get equality, but to get dominance. To my brothers and sisters in Christ, I urge you with this, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:27-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬. God bless you all brothers and sisters in Christ, remember the blood of Jesus and don’t repent of your whiteness repent of your sins against God, whom Christ poured out His blood for us. Repent in bearing with the fruit of the Spirit and live your life for the glory of God and enjoy Him forever.

Wednesday Testimony: How God Graciously Saved Kim Starling

Below is the testimony of a dear sister, and listener, who has been an encouragement to myself and many others in the Tulips & Honey Hub Facebook Group. Recently she shared her testimony with me, and agreed to allow me to share it here. I’m thankful for her boldness, as it is rarely easy to openly discuss our past selves. The old man is dead, and looking back on him we can often feel like we’re watching someone else’s life, but it can be edifying to share God’s grace in forgiving us for that old life. I hope that it will also be encouraging to those of us that have unsaved relatives we’ve prayed for, sometimes for years. I want to thank Kim for all she has done to bless me and others, and for sharing her testimony. At the end you’ll see a video of her baptism, let us rejoice in the saving work of Christ. In Him alone we find our only hope to be forgiven of our sins.

I was adopted as a baby but growing up was full of verbal and physical abuse. I didn’t feel safe at home or school, I was bullied everywhere I turned. Growing up I went to church but God wasn’t present in my home. I tried to please my family anyway I could gain their love and affection. I was involved in a campus ministry in high school called Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2000 at a high school retreat I walked down the aisle and first considered myself a Christian, even though I didn’t know what it meant to follow God except I did not want to go to hell. I began attending a charismatic church and followed and attended conferences of teachers such as Beth Moore, Benny Hinn, Paula White, and teachers at Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. I began to believe that because I was going to church, active in FCA, spoke in tongues, had various experiences within the charismatic church that was made me a Christian. By my senior year in high school, I was leading Bible studies and was captain of FCA. However, I still loved my sin and there was no difference in my life before I professed Christ, and after, except for the works I was hoping that would save me as I was being taught. In college, I continued my involvement in FCA. Around 2004 or 2005 I met a friend of mine at a college retreat. When I made a trip down to visit her we went to the college group with her church, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Oviedo. The pastor was going over the book Charismatic Chaos by John Macarthur and that was the first time I heard of what I had believed and the Brownsville school that I had visited was a false gospel. This shook my world, everything I believed, and caused me to become upset and silent.

In 2006 I swore in and joined the US Army as an MP. My friend would encourage me to find a biblically sound church in Tallahassee when one couldn’t be found I moved to Orlando in 2007. One day I thought I had understood the gospel and had repented of my sin. In June of 2007, I was baptized. Outwardly I tried to conform but there was no fruit of repentance in my life My friends would point out sin to me but I was prideful and apathetic, I would make excuses for the sin I was committing. About October of 2007, I moved back to Tallahassee due to a temporary duty assignment in Italy. After Italy, I returned to Tallahassee and entered into a relationship that was flirting with the line between sex and foreplay which ended about a month before I deployed. Shortly after I returned from Italy I received my orders to be deployed to Iraq. During my training for my deployment, I began talking to a woman on a Christian chat site which became a homosexual relationship. I also remained in touch with various people at Cornerstone, where I am attending now actually. Toward the end of the first month in Iraq, I was injured.

Once I was back stateside I would isolate from everything and everyone except for my family, my friends from Cornerstone, and the woman I was speaking with and seeing on Skype all the time. There were times my friends would ask about my status on Skype, my relationship with God, and going to church. I would tell them of my desire to isolate and she would ask me about the profession I had made and baptism. Due to her confronting me about my sin and being unwilling to repent I pushed her away. Because of how I thought it was unloving and not understanding why I wanted to isolate I would slander her to others. Every year until 2015 I would travel to Canada to visit my girlfriend. On one of my initial trips to see her we exchanged rings and said we were married even though she was already married with children who knew nothing of our sin. Due to trauma from war and childhood in April 2017, I got a service dog (which was at suggestions of other veterans that had gone through the war and had the same issues I did) and after that, I felt like I had to keep my promise to God and go back to church. I would go only when it was convenient and when I didn’t have to explain it to the woman I called a wife. That July I made my first trip back to Cornerstone in Oviedo for the woman’s conference with Ollie and still professed to be a Christian. By August I began being uncomfortable with the soft preaching or when I approached the pastor about being unsure of my salvation he prayed for me but did not mention anything about repentance or sin in my life but all was ok because we had prayed. I

n November 2017 I found a reformed church in Tallahassee called Grace Church of Tallahassee. During this time I began reaching out to my old friend who I pushed away again and she would graciously hear my questions and uncertainties I had about if I could come to Christ and repent. She would tell me today is the day of salvation, to read the book of John, and listen to Paster Marc at Cornerstone preach through the book of John. I would still make excuses for not going to church. Between January and March between hearing the sermons by Pastor Marc through John, reading Hard to Believe by John Macarthur, listening to the pastor at Grace Church of Tallahassee preach through Luke, and reading through John I think it was in March when my sin, depravity, understanding of the gospel and repentance for the first time I began being broken and downcast. I would come home from church before I would begin work there would be tears that would flow and I would get on my knees pleading with God to have mercy on me and grant me repentance. One day I prayed that I know the cost, I don’t care about the cost I want to follow Him. After that I told the woman I could no longer be in the relationship with her, I deleted all the photos of her and that I had with her. One day she asked me if I regretted the relationship and without hesitation I said I do regret it because of the offense it is to my Lord first and foremost and it was also sinning against her and her family. Now by God’s grace, I am living in Orlando again and attend Cornerstone and my life is completely different.

Murder, Riots, Depravity, and Hope – A Hymn From the Past

Usually on Sunday I only talk about a beautiful hymn, but today I have a hymn and something else on my mind. As you know, dear ones, if you’ve followed me long enough, once upon a time I practiced the religion of politics. I worshipped at the feet of Talking Heads. It started with the unrest in Egypt, when mass crowds of citizens came together and overthrew the dictator that had taken over their country. I watched in horror, as a military stood ready to defend its citizens against their government if need be. They weren’t fighting their leaders, but they weren’t aiming their guns at their people either. It didn’t take long before that particular leader was removed, and a new one was elected. It was as fascinating to me as it was terrifying, but I couldn’t really understand it.

Romans 8:28

I had done really well in my AP Gov classes, but that wasn’t due to intellect. I had been taught a trick for test taking that I still use anytime I need to. The answer to questions is almost always found in other questions, so if I didn’t know something all I had to do was skip ahead and I’d find the answer waiting in the form of a different question. Ironically, it was a group designed to prepare poor folk like me for college, I wasn’t going to be able to afford it so I needed to have the best grades and test results possible. Anyhow, all thats to say that I left high school completely unaware of how the world worked. But as a new mom, and a young wife, the possibility of a country going through so much change that quickly led me to constant research. Which led me to believe the answer was to be found in our elected officials. It was incredibly naive, but you’d have found me in my early twenties campaigning for Conservo-Libertarian candidates as well as rallying in the Tea Parties. I wore “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” shirts and quoted Ayn Rand. And while I still hold to most of the political views that I did then, I now hold to them for a very different reason.

Ezekiel 36:26

The answer to the problems in the world will never come from governments, rulers, or rioters. The answer came on July 4th, 2015 when God graciously saved this idolatrous wretch. He bore my sin and judgement, He bought me with His blood, and I now only obey Him. I am His servant, His slave, and so I tarry here at His good will waiting to make a pilgrimage home. The answer to murder, to hate, to arson, to theft, to sin, is the Gospel. I can’t fix the world, it’s fallen, but I can share the only good news wicked men will ever hear, there is forgiveness in Christ. There is salvation in Christ. Every sin, whether its murder or theft, will be paid for. Either Christ paid for your sin on the cross and you have been given new life and new desires, or you will pay for your sin. There is no such thing as injustice, but there is sinful men who think they’ve put off justice for the moment. But God holds the account, and there will be a day of Judgement.

2 Corinthians 5:21

We were feeling cooped up, so we took a drive. Fargo is only a couple hours from us, if the hubby drives (3 and a half if I drive, because I’m slow and easily distracted by every…single…rest stop…) so we decided to get out of the house. We were keeping a close watch on Minneapolis because it’s not far from us, but it was early when we pulled into downtown Fargo so we didn’t think there would be any danger in driving around. We were met by a young man standing in the middle of the street with his fist in the air and his face covered. It reminded me of the Occupy Wallstreet folks that camped out downtown where I worked back when politics was my religion. A group of them had stepped out into the road, fists up, trying to block me from driving by them. I saw them in time and sped around them, and took a different route to work from then on out. What I’m trying to say is, with my beautiful daughter sitting in the back seat, it freaked me out. There was a march taking place, and we were in the traffic of people taking part. Most of the signs I saw were appropriate, a few of them were not, but one of them had us turning around and driving home.

1 Samuel 12:24

It said “If you can’t change the system, scare it.” I had seen enough videos of the neighboring city burning to know that a small group of the hundreds of people walking the street would stick around to cause trouble, to “scare” the system. Obviously, we drove home after that, and I’m not feeling cooped up this morning I’m feeling thankful for the safety of my home. But there was something else that chilled me to the bones, as we drove home, we passed a dozen or more armored military vehicles all heading for Fargo. Last night the mayor declared a state of emergency. My husband is a very wise man, he must have seen a glint of the old man in me, that dead and rotting corpse that was plagued with fear of all the things I couldn’t fix, and the things I couldn’t control. He pulled up R. C. Sproul’s last sermon and listened to it with me, then he played me John MacArthurs eulogy for the great theologian. We talked about eternal things for most of the drive home. Why Sproul’s last sermon? Why the eulogy? Because my husband knows I need to be reminded of the only answer to sin. He knows I need to be reminded that we have this great hope. Below is a beautiful hymn from Fanny Crosby, and in case you need to be reminded like I did, I added links to that eulogy and sermon. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Emoji’s

When my life work is ended,
And I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer
When I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Oh, the soul thrilling rapture
When I view His blessèd face,
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him
For the mercy, love and grace,
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Oh, the dear ones in glory,
How they beckon me to come,
And our parting at the river I recall;
To the sweet vales of Eden
They will sing my welcome home;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Through the gates to the city
In a robe of spotless white,
He will lead me where no tears will ever fall;
In the glad song of ages
I shall mingle with delight;
But I long to meet my Savior first of all.

Sprouls-Last-Sermon
John-MacArthur’s-Eulogy-for-Sproul

ChristMarked: Gospel and Jesus as Treasure – By Troy Paylor

Gospel and Jesus as Treasure


Good day to you all. May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied unto you. I come here with a message, not worldly inspired, but divinely inspired by God. May God open up your ears today as the message is being preached and may your hearts of stone be changed into a heart of flesh. So my major question today is what is something in your life that you value the most? Like it holds so much weight in your life, that if you were to lose it you would be lost. Now, this thing you value the most could be a sport, boyfriend or girlfriend, family member, dogs or cats, money, clothes, food, your reputation, and so on. I mean the list of things or people we could name that have the most value in our lives is crazy when you think about it. Now is it wrong to care about all those things and give them weight in our lives, realistically no! But what you have in that place that holds that much shall be crushed. Now you ask, what should be there then? The answer is Jesus and the Gospel. Now I know it might sound very cliché to say that, but it is true, not just here, but also in light of eternity. I mean, if you believe in God, if you believe that the Bible is the word of God for it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,” then you have to believe everything in the Bible is true and cannot be debated. Now, why are we to believe that what God says is true, for One He spoke everything into existence, He speaks raw materials into existence, the one who wrote the perfect book of books through imperfect people, plus His knowledge is Infinite, and ours is finite. If our earthly minds were ever able to take in all that God is, our brains would explode. Let me show you just how Big and worthy our God is, that there are with an estimate of 1 Septillion stars in the Universe. That’s a 1 with 24 zeros behind it. Now take that into consideration as I read this verse from Psalm 147:4 which says, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.” So think about how creative you have to be to name 1 septillion stars, and He remembers the names. Now, me personally, since I am really bad with names, maybe once I started getting past 50 stars I would run out of names and start just calling them star one, star two, star three, and you know the rest, but God no. He gives them an actual name and remembers. Sometimes I forget how to spell the word apple if I’m being honest.

So what does that tell you about God and His knowledge and how worthy He is.
Now if you have grasped all of that I would like you to turn with me to Matthew 13:44 which says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, buried in a field, that a man found and reburied. Then in his joy, he goes and sells everything he has and buys that field.” The implications of this verse lead us to believe that the gospel itself is a priceless treasure. It says the man went and sold all he had to go buy that field. Jesus was saying the Gospel is worth that much. The reason that the Gospel is so valuable is because of the blood and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to the earth as God in the flesh, which He was called the Son of God. Jesus was the greater Adam. The lesser Adam was the one who brought sin into the world through his disobedience. Romans 5:17: “Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Folks, this is what makes Jesus Christ and the Gospel the treasure that is hidden in the field. For if we are to go back to Genesis 2:17 which says, “but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” So if we look at what death really means is to have the basic idea of separation. All these factors could have been the possible deaths meant with the implication such as spiritual separation, physical separation, and eternal separation. In fact, these all through Adam were the factors that actually happened. One, ever since the day of sin coming into the world man and woman have been bent on rebelling against God, doing the very things that God hates. The thing in which God hates is sin. So what is sin? JC Ryle in his book Holiness says, “that ‘a sin’ to speak more particularly, consists in doing saying, thinking, or imagining, anything that is not in perfect conformity with the mind and law of God. ‘Sin’ in short as the scripture saith, is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4). John Piper says, “Sinning is any feeling or thought or speech or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure God over all other things.”

So what is the root of all sinning? A heart that desires anything or anyone else above God Himself. To break it down, even more, this is John Piper again and he says, “Sin is: The glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The promises of God not believed. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved.” If I look at each statement there have been times and I still do when I fall short on all of these, and what am I doing then? I am falling short of the law which leaves me condemned before God by myself unless I am in Christ, and Christ is in me. But when does sin seem to enter the world and leave man and woman bound by sin, and guilty before God? If we are to look at the book of Genesis in chapter 3 verses 6, and 7 say, “Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves” Here we see that sin has entered the world and caused Adam and Eve to notice that they are naked. In fact, in the next few verses after, Adam and Eve when they hear God coming to hide themselves from Him because they notice they are naked. God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Genesis 3:11). God already knew why they knew they were naked. The first sin committed was the disobeying of Adam and Eve to God’s one command. Yet God waited for Adam and Eve to confess what they had done. But if we are to look at the first two chapters of Genesis, then we are to see that everything that God spoke into existence and it was good. So the original standing of man before God without sin was sinless and in right standing, but after the fall it left man utterly consumed with sin. So as we see all throughout the Old Testament that men and women of God are proclaiming the coming of the One who shall bear our sin and shame and be pierced for our transgressions.

In fact, in the book of Isaiah Chapter 53:5-7,10,11 which says, “5But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him. 6We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way, and the Lord punished Him for the iniquity of us all. 7He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. 10Yet the Lord was pleased to crush Him severely. When you make Him a restitution offering, He will see His seed, He will prolong His days, and by His hand, the Lord’s pleasure will be accomplished. 11He will see it out of His anguish, and He will be satisfied with His knowledge. My righteous Servant will justify many, and He will carry their iniquities.” As we see in verse 5 of this chapter, we see a substitute for our sins. We see someone else taking upon the wrath which we deserve. Yet this is the key element that makes the Gospel and Jesus that treasure hidden in the field that a man found and reburied and sold all he had and went and bought that field. Folks, this is the joy of the Gospel and Jesus Christ Himself. Verse 6 then lets us all know that we have all fallen short of the Law, and the Law is given to us by God, saying these are His holy commands that you shall obey. The fact of the matter is folks that God’s first commandment out of the ten is one that condemns us all. It says in Exodus 20:3 “Do not have other gods besides Me.” Friends these things can be anything in our heart and mind that holds more weight than God Himself in your life. So if we can’t even begin to obey the first command, then we already stand condemned before God and the place we deserve to be in is Hell. In fact, in the book of Romans in chapter 6 verse 23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Friends, in this verse we see the last two points of death in this.


Remember the first was spiritual death, but the last two were physical separation and eternal separation. Remember also that death is the idea of separation from something. So it says for the wages of sin is death, and we see physical separation in that because ever since the fall of man in the garden, humans have been cursed to die physically, not just that but also, we see sin makes us guilty before God condemning us to Hell which in turn is eternal separation. But then it goes on to say that the gift of God is eternal life to those in Christ Jesus, which means folks Christ is the one through the substitution in our place on the cross bearing the wrath of God upon Himself that reconciles God to man. This is the sweet joy of the Gospel. Christ is the sacrificial Lamb caught in the thicket that lays down His life. He is the Good Shepherd who was slain for His sheep. Christ says, no one takes my life from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. So folks, like it says in chapter 53 of Isaiah Christ was like a lamb being led to the slaughter by her shearers Yet he didn’t open His mouth. Folks, to know Christ died for the very people that killed Him, knowing He could have called down legions of angels while on the cross to put an end to humanity and He didn’t. Christ’s love for His sheep drove Him to lay down His life and appease the wrath that was directed on the sheep yet fulfilled in His death and resurrection. Now listen to what I am about to say here closely. The cross doesn’t demonstrate how much we are worth, but the cost of the sin we commit. Brothers and sisters, we don’t even deserve to live, but by the grace of God, we do. The cross again is not to show how much we are worth but shows the great price that was upon our heads that Christ took upon Himself because of His love for us. So what is the Gospel? The Gospel is that God had created everything in the beginning, and it was good. But man and woman didn’t listen to God, instead of listening to the serpent ate from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, which shamed humanity and bent them on rebelling against God. All throughout history before Jesus people have been trying to fulfill the Ten commandments and fell short every time and made them guilty before God. The only thing that made people righteous before God in the Old Testament was their faith, which was credited to them as righteousness. So the Lord Himself had to provide salvation for sinful man. So he came down from all glory, “who existing in the form of God did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death- even to death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-8). “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.” (Romans 5:8-9). “For this reason, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow-of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth- and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:9-11). Now if you confess Christ as Lord of your life, crying out to Him repenting of your ways you will as 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” “And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.” (2 Cor 5:15).


Jesus said, “He said to them, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment.” ( Matthew 22:37,38). Jesus also said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.” (John 14:15). Now that doesn’t mean you will be perfect, in fact, the Apostle Paul says, “So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in the flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.” (Romans 7:17,18). So remember that as long as you have your fleshly bodies you shall have the flesh and the spirit wage war on each other. For try to abstain from fleshly desires and live for Christ. Folks that is what makes the Gospel the treasure hidden in the field, because Christ died in our place, taking upon the full wrath of God, and giving us His Holy Spirit so we may begin to glorify Christ by doing things that honor His name. We can only do it because of the Holy Spirit, so we thank Christ for that, for we know trials and tribulations shall come our way, but don’t waiver dear believer, stand strong in the faith, believing Christ is who He says He is, and He will come back one day and gather His sheep and we shall stand before God righteous, not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus Christ being our Righteousness. So my two questions today are, Is Jesus and the Gospel the treasured possession of your heart? For it says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” My last question is this, are you saved? For Jesus says this in John 10:27,28, “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish-ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. So make this your thoughts and questions. Christ is calling you, are you going to cry out to Him and repent of your ways? Be sincere in answering these questions because the last thing I want you to do is to walk from this place believing you are saved and then Christ says depart from Me, I never knew you. May you all begin to treasure the Gospel and the wonderful work Jesus Christ. God bless you all, in Jesus’ name amen.


The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Christ Marked: The Holy Spirit and His Fruit – By Troy Paylor

The Holy Spirit and His Fruit 

Today, many people believe the Holy Spirit to be a feeling, something that music that really glorifies God, leads to me feeling the tingly feelings in my hands and everything and that’s how I know I feel the spirit. The way this pushes the idea of the Holy Spirit is based upon experience instead of upon scripture. Now let me make clear, today’s idea of the church so-called professors believe the Holy Spirit to be this feeling, something that only seems to work when I listen to so-called worship music. For this notion is very dangerous.

What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit though? For starters, the Love of God is displayed to us in that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. “and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”Romans‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬. Not only that, but you see where Paul says the Holy Spirit has been poured? Our Hearts, not hands, not feet, not brain, nowhere else, but the heart. Because we had a heart of stone, that was deceitfully wicked, but what did God do for sinners whom He chose to be His own before the foundation of the world? “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36:25-26‬ ‭ESV‬‬.

Now, why did God do that, because humans’ hearts are an idol factory, we make idols out of everything? But one of the evidences of the Holy Spirit isn’t shade, but what? Conviction, for what does the Bible say? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”Galatians‬ ‭5:22-24‬ ‭ESV‬‬. For the spirit produces the fruit of Christ, self-control is something it does that is really big, so it’s not that sin keeps coming into my life and I can’t fight it, but the Holy Spirit is the one by the means of its power you can fight sin.

The Bible bases sin off fruit, not feeling, off evidence of the work in you, a new nature, not fuzzy feelings in your limbs. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬. It lets us know we are children of God, not by music coming on, also by what else? “I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.”Romans‬ ‭6:19‬.

Sanctification produces works of the spirit and mortifying deeds of the flesh. The main one of all is communion with God by abiding in His word. But with this being the case, what’s the Holy Spirit to you? A fuzzy feeling? If so, I want you to know that in the beginning, God created everything good, man sinned against God, God knew man would and brought about redemption with mankind through Jesus Christ our Lord, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a criminals death that we all deserved and rose the third day. After that, God sent His Holy Spirit into His children for which he died for in Calvary so they may know they are God’s and tells them that the Holy Spirit will produce the works that glorify God. So when those who are in Christ die, we are deemed righteous because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Now how are you saved, by repenting and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart, the root of your wickedness? So I urge you to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. – Troy Paylor from Christ Marked


The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here, and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Happy Easter and…Anniversary?

I was pleasantly surprised to see a notification this morning that today is my WP anniversary! Three years blogging, wow that time seems to have gone by extremely fast. Thank you, to all my readers, you’ve become my dear friends! I hope you’re all having a very wonderful morning, that your live stream connection is on point, and that you again bring to mind the price that was paid for our salvation. For believers we don’t celebrate the resurrection once a year, but daily, and on difficult days, hourly. If you are reading this and have not repented of your sins (lying, lustful thoughts, taking the Lords name in vain, hatred and such) know that there is only one way to the Father and that is through the Son. Just like crime is punishable here on Earth, your sin is a crime against your Creator, and will either be paid by you in eternity, or Christ has paid it. No sin will go unpunished. God is not a corrupt or lazy judge, He is a just and righteous judge. Do not think that you will go before Him on the day of judgement and plead your case. If you murder someone and go before a judge and say “yes I did this bad thing, but I’m a good person, I help orphans and what not” will the judge set you free and forgive your crime? Of course not! Regardless of the good you’ve done, your crime is still a crime, and the debt you owe to society must be paid. It is the same for your sin, there is a debt that must be paid. You might think “what kind of God punishes people for eternity?” And that is a good question! First, let us remember that sin does not stop in hell, the commandments decreed are still being broken, Gods name is blasphemed, hatred is fueled, pride and idolatry continue. Second, the degree of punishment is, as on earth, equal to the one against whom you have committed the crime. If you lie to your spouse you will most likely face their wrath and perhaps spend a night on the couch. If you lie to a police officer you’ll be ticketed, and perhaps spend a night in jail. If you lie to the Supreme Court you will spend years in prison, and they have the power to put you to death. What has changed in these three scenarios? Not the crime, the crime was the same, but the one who was offended has changed. You have sinned against an eternal God, and the punishment for your sin is therefor eternal. But, what love is this? While I was YET a sinner Christ died for me! That’s the Good News of the Gospel! Christ lived a sinless life, when He was crucified God poured out the wrath reserved for you and me upon Him. You see, we owed a debt we couldn’t pay, so He paid a debt He didn’t owe. If your about to be sent to prison for life, and someone stands up and says they’ll take your place, they’ll pay the debt you owe, you’re free to go. Free. He who the Son sets free is free indeed! That’s what Christ did, He paid for our sins, the eternal punishment was placed on Him, and we can have freedom from sin and death. Repent of your sins, put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, believe on Him. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.