Friday, July 12, 2013

Take It To The Limit

John 3:16  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.

Psalm_106:1  Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

(As a preface to this devotional, I generally do not work with “Worldly” songs.   However, after eating the lunch I am describing below, I had to do this to clear the song out of my head. jrec)     

            Sharil, (my wife) and I were recently eating at our local What-A-Burger, and overhead the music of the old Eagles’ song, “Take It To The Limit” was playing. 
            (Do know, I no longer listen to that kind of music intentionally, but you must know that my toe “was a tapping.”)   Except for the chorus I had absolutely no concept what the song was about.  I mulled over some ideas concerning the chorus.  (Later, I downloaded the lyrics and found that it is a woeful song concerning lost or fleeting love.  In terms of context, I was a bit off base as to what it was about.   I have since trod down another venue.)
            I can relate this song to our sin.  “Still you're coming back, you're running back You're coming back for more.”  Isn’t this how sin works?  We “taste” a sin, will never try it again, but later just “one more time.”  But, we may go back many times.  (There can be a point of no return.)
            I was also thinking about “…take[ing] it to the limit one more time,” in relation to God’s Love and His Mercy for us.  Based on our Scriptures above, His Love and His Mercy is “everlasting” and “for ever.”  Our King James Bible teaches us God is infinite in His love for us, infinite in his Mercy on us.  Do know it is infinite for those who are saved by Faith in Jesus, God’s only Son, His only begotten Son.
            We are also taught there are limits to those who refuse His Son Jesus.  Peter asked Jesus how many time must I forgive, Jesus answered Peter:

Matthew_18:22  …I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

I cannot say that “seventy times seven,” is God’s limit but we must know a limit exists.

Romans 1:28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 

                    The context of this Scripture in Romans deals primarily with sodomy, (which is sin.)  So as a consequence of sin, God gave “…them over to a reprobate mind.”  What is a “reprobate mind?”  “Reprobate (n.) A person abandoned to sin; one lost to virtue and religion.”  In other words, abandoned, totally rejected by God. 
            Another phrase, “So put me on a highway” also intrigued me.   My thoughts went straight to The Book of Matthew.

Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  (14)  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The “highway” that came to my mind are the two mentioned in these verses, “the strait gate” and the “broad way.”  (These are our choices. One choice leads to life everlasting, (becoming a Christian,) whereas the other leads to destruction, (refusing Jesus.) The “broad way” is the path of the reprobate mind.  This is a dangerous slippery slope from which many never escape.) 
            After I became a Christian, at age 51, and received a clearer understanding of a reprobate mind, I was horrified to realize that had I taken “…it to the limit one more time” and followed that “broad way” I could now have that “reprobate mind,” totally rejected by God, a castaway, and very possibly burning in hell. 
            As Christians saved by The Blood of Jesus The Christ, (through our Faith in Him,) we are eternally secure.  The question that we must ask ourselves is:  “If I Died Today, Would I Go to Heaven or Hell?”

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.

This verse gives you the limited knowledge that you need to know.  God wants you to know that through Jesus, His Son, you can have eternal life.

1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

God loves you, and He wants you to know that.

John 3:16  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.

Truly and honestly believe this and Salvation via your faith is yours eternally.

Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

With a true heart, and a clean clear mind, Ask God Today. 
Step back away from “the limits.”  Stay forever within God’s Amazing Grace.

Bro John R. E Chastain, Evangelist
Retired Baptist Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Once Upon A Time

Titus 1:15-16  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.  (16)  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

            I remember many years ago, (prior to my salvation,) watching NBC News with Tom Brokaw.   He was upset that Dr. Jack Kevorkian was involved in assisted suicides.  (Mr. Brokaw was apparently appalled that a physician would do something that would violate The Hippocratic Oath.)  The next story showed Christians picketing an Abortion Clinic.  (Mr. Brokaw didn’t seem to be appalled, yet both physicians were doing EXACTLY the same thing, with one major difference.  The person who asked for help in ending his life made the choice.  The baby that was murdered had no choice.  (Prior to that newscast, I had NO opinion concerning abortion nor assisted suicide.)  I changed news channels and never went back.  Whatever status Mr. Brokaw had (in my mind,) was tarnished.
            Recently, our Texas Legislature has been working on a bill that will limit abortion.  (I am not sure of all the contents.)  I know that those who protested had a Senate Member Filibuster during the first attempt, with grievous protests interrupting the Legislative process.  Later, Governor Perry called a special session to grapple with this bill one more time.   (The protestors against the bill gathered along with Christians who were for the passage of this bill.)  The Christian group began singing, “Amazing Grace” and the “Pro-Choice” protestors chanted, “Hail Satan.”  (At least we know now affirmatively the “Pro-Choice” group is of Satan.  They called on their god, just like the people in The Democratic Convention booed God The Almighty.
            Think about Elijah.  (He called on God and fire came down.  He had the ability to kill all the Baal worshippers.  Now, I am not asking for that.  However, “Once Upon A Time” God judged severely those who called out a false god.)  Since the Roe v. Wade decision, we as a Nation have murdered more babies in the name of contraception than the number of Jews murdered by Hitler.
            It seems we have encouraged our daughters to become whores, our sons to become whoremongers. When the natural result of back seat copulation happens, a baby dies.  (Then our “children” can go back to doing what they desire.  It wasn’t a baby, it was just a fetus.)  Today a girl can even get a “Plan B” pill and perform her own murder.
            “Isn’t it amazing how the same people can “unload on gun owners” for potential deaths, but agree on killing more babies than have been killed (by all guns) since The Revolutionary War, maybe since the invention of guns?”  (I made that statistic up, just like those that oppose Americans their Second Amendment rights.)
            We as Christians must remember those who are for abortions and those who are performing abortions: “are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”  They “profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”
            “God never allows nor ever gives permission for any kind of abortion.  Christian, it is murder.  It is infanticide.  It is offering babies to false gods.  Abortion at any level MUST STOP.
            As I write, we are celebrating our 237th Anniversary of our Nations Independence.  When we sit back and look at our leadership, Our President, Our Judicial, and Our Congress, we find they have all failed our Nation morally and financially.  Then we wonder, what has happened to our economy, where are the jobs, where are our solid Churches that we had “Once Upon A Time?”
            We as Christians must get back to our First Love, Jesus The Christ.  We are walking more like the world, more like the Satanists who are proclaiming his name.  Our Nation must get back to the roots laid down, (with direction of God,) by our forefathers.  In order for our Nation to be spared, we the people of The Nation must change.

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

As Christians, we must begin acting and sounding like we did “Once Upon A Time.”  We have the information we need.  We must “Just Do It.”

Bro John R. E Chastain
Retired Baptist Pastor
Wylie, Texas   Fundamental Thoughts