Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Let Us Return Unto The LORD

              Reading Hosea 6:1-3 quoted below, I began to ponder the use of the phrase, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD.”  My first thought was that I would write about the backsliding Church member who has just quit Church, or the Church member who has slipped into sin and can find no comfort in The Lord’s House.  My second thoughts were:  “how do I segregate those two?”
              In the case of the Christian who has turned cold, and feels sitting with those hypocrites was just too much:  This person is the same person who asks me, “Who made you my judge,” or quotes to me Matthew 7:1,  Judge not, that ye be not judged.   (Yet, not only has he judged the one who he used to sit beside, he has also judged me.  It must be a thought of a hypocrite that they are not to be seen with another hypocrite.)
              Secondly, the “Christian” who has backslidden into sin to the point his sin no longer allows him to attend Church:   His sin is what is keeping him away from God.  Sin has become more of a god than God can be in his life.  He cannot sit “with other sinners” and “hear” the words of needed repentance, and will complain of being judged.
              These are two scenarios of people out of God’s will.  Hosea pleads God’s Word, and that we return unto Him.   Jesus pleads with us:

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

              So many in the scenarios described above claim Jesus as their personal Saviour, yet they refuse to keep His commandments.  So, how do I segregate between these?  (To differentiate between the two scenarios is not possible.)  The notion that I love Jesus, and then fail to follow His commandments is a sin, a sin just as the backslider who turns away into sin.  They are both the same in God’s eyes.

Hebrews 10:23-25  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)  (24)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  (25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

              If we are “Christians by Faith” and faith only, we are not to fail to be with the brethren.  Failing (in either scenario) to seek worship with the brethren is sin.  We as a people tend to segregate various sins and place more importance on one versus another.  God sees sin as sin, and with Him, there are no gradients of sin.
              So, where are you within your walk with God?  Is your life steeped in sin?  Are you “afraid” to join the other hypocrites in Church?  In either case, you are NOT following our Lord Jesus.  If you love Him, go to your knees and repent of your sin.  
              Even a faithful Christian has a need to repent often.  Repentance requires that we humble ourselves before God, through His Son Jesus, and ask for forgiveness, and repent (attempt never to do that sin again.)  So do it, walk away from your sin, and “let us return unto the LORD.”                                                               

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Hosea 6:1-3  Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.  (2)  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.  (3)  Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Peace of Jerusalem

              Reading Psalm 122:6-9 quoted below, I began to consider Jerusalem, and Israel.   I read the news reports and see where our Federal Government now stands on Israel, and I am somewhat dismayed.
              We as a Church have been praying for “…the peace of Jerusalem” using this very verse.  It is disconcerting to see how the world looks at Israel.  The confusing part is our Government, and the news media, (which both should always be non-partisan,) lifting these murderers up as “heroes and victims.”  (We do the same here with victims of violent crimes.)  We pacify the criminal terrorist and vilify the victim. 
              Our Country “was up in arms” on 9/11 and Congress stood and sang, “God Bless America.”  They then went back to “their quarters” and agreed with the ACLU that the Ten Commandments needed to stay locked in a courthouse basement in Georgia.  They have also allowed terror on thousands of babies being aborted weekly, and have appropriated Federal tax monies to support Planned Parenthood, (an abortion mill initially designed to abort babies of the poor and minorities.)
              I pray for “…the peace of Jerusalem” but I also pray for the return of my Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ.  With His return, this abhorrence will stop after the great tribulation has ceased.
              Where is the Peace in this world when we allow an immorality to flow unimpeded?  (We have spent billions of taxpayer money to stop a disease caused by immorality.)  We must stop the blasphemy of God, and get our nation back to the Godly founding principles that established our Government.
              This is our charge:  pray for “…the peace of Jerusalem…,” but also pray for The United States of America.  (Our Governmental leadership has failed us and left us without a strong Godly direction.)  We need leaders who know Jesus as their personal leader.  We need our people on our knees begging for forgiveness. Pray for the return of our Christ Jesus.  Jesus is what we need.
                Reader:  where do you stand?  Do you know if you died today where your eternity will be located?  Will you be in Heaven with Jesus, or in Hell with “your father the devil?”

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Accept Jesus as your personal Saviour, through Faith, and believe that He is who He claims to be.

Romans 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Salvation with Christ can be yours now.                                               

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Psalms 122:6-9  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.  (7)  Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.  (8)  For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.  (9)  Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Believest Thou This?

              Reading John 3:14-17, I began to consider what (v 18) had to say to us. 

John 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Then I remembered the question:

John 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

              Now that the stage is set, what is meant by “Believeth” or “Believest?  What constitutes the foundation of these words that Jesus has given us?  We do know that Faith has a part, and within these parameters is Knowledge.           

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Consequently, we can see that “faith” is gained by “hearing” the “word of God.  This “hearing” allow us to gain Knowledge.  From Knowledge comes “believeth. This Belief is gained through Faith by conviction, and by “hearing…the word of God.
              If we count the “believest” in these verses (including v 18), we find Jesus the Christ used this word four times.  Believing Jesus is a must, (John 3:7)  …Ye must be born again.  As Jesus was explaining to Nicodemus, it is Belief through Faith in God.
              Reader:  where do you stand within your salvation?  When you accepted Jesus, was it solely “fear” of going to Hell, or was it Belief with Faith and Knowledge that convicted you to accept Jesus?  John 3:18 lays it on the line.  There is only one-way (regardless of what Oprah says). 
              If your Faith is solely a fear of Hell, and is not based on the “word of God,” (v 18) clearly states you are “condemned already.  Reader:  believe God has raised Him, (Jesus) from the grave, confess in your heart belief, and confess publically you believe.  Then, and only then, will God save your soul.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

              Reader:  once you have accepted Jesus the Christ, get under the Word of God.  Go to a Church that believes that The King James Bible is the Word of God.  Get under that teaching, grow in Faith, and kindle a fire within your heart to love and serve the One who is the “Amazing Grace.”  Believest thou this?

Bro. John R. E Chastain

John 3:14-17  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  (15)  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.  (16)  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (17)  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Who Is It?

              Reading Romans 8:31-37, I began to mull over the second half of verse 31.

Romans 8:31 b  … If God be for us, who can be against us?

In consideration of this portion of verses and the reality of our world, it does not seem to be such a hard question.  Paul was ruminating about who could be against him.   (Paul fought many battles, much pain was inflicted, and he was martyred.)
                  With this in mind, you and I will probably never have physical pain nor martyrdom placed upon us.  (We will find those who oppose us.)  Therefore, my question is: “Who is it that opposes us?”
                  We must begin with our Government.  We have many Constitutional rights, but some have been unceremoniously ripped from us by the false assumption of “separation of church and state.”  Through this magnanimous aberration, we have been delegated to a lower status.   We look at our country and see the mocking of Christ and the downplaying of Christianity.  We can pray openly as long as we do not interject Jesus the Christ into our prayers.  (Our judicial system has placed the Ten Commandments in a locked room in the basement of a county courthouse in Georgia.)  We can also look at our Christian pulpits and congregations.  Some are no longer using God’s Word, and their music is less God honouring.
                  So, the question we as individuals and churches must ask is, “Is it I?

Mark 14:19  And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? …

              The Apostles concerned themselves that they were traitors to the Lord.  (I am not of the belief that most Christians are intentional traitors.) Yet, we as Christians seem to turn our backs on God and His Son more often than not.  We each must reach down in our hearts and open the safe where our “sincerity” is safely locked away.

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, ...

This “sincerity” is the keeper of a “true heart in full assurance of faith.”  Our “faith” ought to be a “seen quality” of our individual walk.  Through that “seen quality,” we will find those who oppose not only us, (but because of our “seen quality,”) we will find those who oppose Jesus the Christ.
                  “Is it I,?” should be your question concerning your walk. This question should also be asked of your church and your worship service.  Are you honouring God?

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Romans 8:31-37  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  (32)  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  (33)  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.  (34)  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  (35)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  (36)  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  (37)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Are You Transfigured?

              Reading Matthew 17:1-5, I began pondering Jesus’ transfiguration.  This brought to mind what Paul taught us.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

              I am certain that when I became “a new creature,” my clothing and my face did not shine, as did Christ’s in His transfiguration.  However, my face did change.  It opened with a smile of hope, a hope of knowing where I would spend eternity.  I later understood that when I was “transfigured” I had received the Holy Spirit.
              Not only had I accepted a gift from God, that of an eternal, forever, everlasting existence with Jesus and His Father, I now had the Holy Ghost to help me in my daily walk.

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

              Not only had I received the gift of eternity, I also had escaped the forever, eternal, everlasting hell.  The Saviour, my Jesus hung on a Cross.  He died and forgave me from that “Old Rugged Cross.”
              As the new “transfigured,” “new creature,” my walk and my talk changed (which in part I wanted to change.  However, my “want to’s” did not have a firm direction.)  That is why Jesus the Christ gives us the Comforter.  With the Holy Spirit, I now could achieve direction for my “want to’s.”  Without the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, (The King James Bible) I would have achieved only the direction I chose.  (One of my “want to’s” was to be in Church under the Word of God.  With all that God had given, I grew in the Lord.) 
              Had I not taken the time to be “transfigured” on January 19, 1993, I would be a lost soul living under the direction of my father the devil, “ole Satan” himself.

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

There I was just as the devil, now a man of God: (a messenger for Him.)  It is impossible to imagine what my new adopted Father, (our God in Heaven,) has done for me (it cannot be told) through His Son, Jesus.  I do know His power is all mighty.
              Reader, do you know where you stand with our Lord Jesus?  Have you gone humbly and broken hearted to your knees in believing submission to Him?  If you have, you have been “transfigured” and made into a new creature.  Have your “want to’s” changed?  Have you outwardly begun to shine as a new Christian?   This is the hour, this is the day, succumb, accept Him, be “transfigured” by (Romans 12:2)…the renewing of your mind...                                                           

Bro. John R. E Chastain

Matthew 17:1-5  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  (2)  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  (3)  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  (4)  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.  (5)  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.