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The truth war: Loving dead people back to life

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  • The truth war: Loving dead people back to life

    THE TRUTH WAR: LOVING DEAD PEOPLE BACK TO LIFE
    By Ken Silva pastor-teacher
    on Oct 9, 2008
    in AM Missives, Devotions

    Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
    (1 John 3:6-8, KJV)

    Satan’s Work Has Been Destroyed And Is Still Being Destroyed
    Although there is a price to pay for it, for Jesus’ sake I want you to see from God’s Word what the enemy’s troops desperately want to hide from the Body of Christ today. And so we zero in on verse 8 from our text above — The reason [Jesus] the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. The Greek word translated destroy here is luo; and it means, “to loosen, undo, break up, destroy, dissolve.”

    If you were to read this verse in the original Greek you would understand it to mean that by His coming to earth as both God and Man, Christ Jesus broke up and destroyed the Devil’s work. Also, because the construction of this sentence is actually in present tense, you’d then understand that even now the Lord is continuing to undo everything that Satan is trying to do now. This verse is teaching us the great truth about what Jesus did on the Cross, as well as, what He continues to do right now by the power of His Resurrection from the dead!

    As the great scholar of Greek Dr. A.T. Robertson has written about this verse — “There is eternal conflict, with victory over Satan certain.” Fellow soldiers, let us take heart from this and fight on for the Kingdom of our precious Lord even through this growing apostasy in the Christian Church world-wide. Although we will lose some of the individual battles along the way in this Truth War—the Lord be praised—our great God and Savior Jesus Christ has already won the war!

    We need to understand that we’ll stumble on occasion, which is why we must also be patient with one another. And that’s yet another reason why our Sovereign Commander tells us — Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day — [of Christ’s return] — approaching (Hebrews 10:25). Men and women, we need to meet together in our local churches with likeminded believers to learn the ways of God; to draw strength and encouragement from each other, to plan strategy, and for our nurses to tend to the wounded.

    Some of you who have been Christians for a while have no doubt had people ask you: How do you keep going with all the setbacks you’ve had? I know I’ve certainly had a few. The only answer is because of our relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Somehow He just won’t let these helpless little “swallows” fall to the ground. And what is more, we take courage from our Lord’s great love for His precious Church. He always protects us, even though without question some of us have not always been all that we should have been having made some mistakes along the way, which ended up wounding other Christians.

    But what you need to always remember is that once you have confessed your sin, and done what you can to move forward, God is faithful to forgive you. No, you don’t need to let a past that no longer exists deter you beloved of God. So rather than letting some old mistake hinder you, today we encourage you to forgive yourself—just as the Lord already has—and get yourself back up into the glorious battle for the glory of our great God and Savior!

    Sin Is Missing In The Message Of Today’s Man-Centered Myths

    Here is 1 John 1:7 — But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. This verse itself is also written in the present tense and is showing us that the blood of Christ’s sacrifice continues to cleanse us of all our sin as we repent. Now let me clear up a huge misconception, which is at the root of why the evangelical camp today is currently following myriad satanic deceptions; and, why the average person who would call themselves “evangelical” is no more Christian than Pontius Pilate.

    The reason why secular America is now courting so-called evangelicals such as Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren is that the Cross and sin have been surgically removed from the presentation of the semi-pelagian seeker sensitive non-gospel. And as such, the evangelical Christianity they would speak of is truly no different than the sappy self-help rubbish spewed by Joel Osteen, who—like publicity seeking Warren—is only echoing the pathetically shallow psycho-philosophical and vain babblings of the ultimate lover of the self Robert Schuller.

    How many of you reading this are old enough to remember having to study Schuller’s “theology” in Bible college, seminary and/or Sunday School at your local church? Then why don’t you stand up; and why don’t you begin to speak out as Schuller’s cynanide recycles into evangelicalism from the ever pragmatic Warren or into the Emergent Church through Rob Bell albeit with a repainted version of the old social gospel? Some of us are crying out to those of you still sitting on the sidelines: “Stand up for Jesus!” Do you really think this comes without a price for us?

    And A.W. Tozer was dead on target with his words of insightful judgement—yes, I meant judgment—when he wrote:

    If this is a fairly accurate view of things, what can we say then when Christian men vie with one another for place and position? What can we answer when we see them hungrily seeking for praise and honor? How can we excuse that passion for publicity which is so glaringly evident among Christian leaders? What about political ambition in Church circles?

    What about the fevered palm that is stretched out for more and bigger “love offerings”? What about the shameless egotism among Christians? How can we explain the gross man-worship that habitually blows up one and another popular leader to the size of a colossus? What about the obsequious hand kissing of moneyed men by those purporting to be sound preachers of the gospel?
    (The Pursuit of Man, 126)

    For us to understand what God the Holy Spirit is saying through His Apostle John in our opening text you must define sin properly according to Scripture; and not according to the Devil’s multitudinous man-pleasers of today’s tepid and timid generation! Sin in the Bible is the breaking of any of God’s law, and all unrighteousness is sin. Now to actually see what Scripture means by righteousness you must understand that anytime we do anything that falls short of what Jesus Christ—the perfect righteousness of God in human flesh—would do we, in very fact, sin. So how self-righteous do you feel now; and now how quick will you be to look down upon genuine brothers and sisters as they struggle and grow in Christ?

    So, based on this proper understanding of what John means when he speaks of sin, to truly appreciate the amazing grace of the LORD God Almighty you must understand that Satan does not want Christians to know. Here it is, although the regenerated believers will still sin at times—Christ Jesus died for all of our sins—past, present, and future. And on the Cross the Lord knew you personally, and everything you would ever do. Yet His great sacrifice has cancelled the debt of all of your sin! This is absolutely no excuse to sin; but, as it was well-said elsewhere, when you teach the Gospel of God’s grace correctly it does almost sound that way.

    On The Cross Christ Paid The Price—Period; End Of Story

    My main point is here is that in John 19:30 — Jesus said, “It is finished.” As I have mentioned on other occasions, the Greek word here is tetelestai, and is what Roman tax collectors would stamp on your receipt after you paid your taxes. It means “paid in full.” So when you put this together with 1 John 3:8, which we looked at above, now you’ll understand what the whole host of Hell really doesn’t want you to know.

    You see, by sacrificing Himself on the Cross, and with His literal bodily Resurrection from the dead, our Sovereign Commander, the Lord Jesus, gained a complete and total victory for us over Satan which “paid in full” our debt of sin to a holy and righteous God. And further, our Lord is continuing to “loosen, undo, break up, dissolve, and destroy” the Devil’s work—every time without fail—whenever Satan’s demented forces are able to get a hold of something around us.

    May you understand by living out these truths, our faith that the Bible is reliable; that it is indeed the Word of the one true and living God, will cause our trust in Jesus to just continue to grow stronger. As His Christians, the literal fact that we have lived through God’s undoing of Satan’s work time after time—sometimes even in spite of ourselves—gives us the courage to go back in and fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). O, how I pray that this part of the Body of Christ will get “fired up”; will fully arise—will be inspired to go on the offensive and begin to attack the Devil for a change. Beloved, hasn’t the thief had his way in our churches and in our communities long enough!

    Christians; let’s be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-11). Soldiers of the Cross, let us take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit as the time has come for us to go to our knees for Jesus because the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

    Men and women, let each of us make it our goal to start setting some time aside each day to specifically pray for our communities, we are not living where we are by accident (see—Acts 17:26). And let us pray for our leaders in the Body of Christ; for they are primary targets of the powers of this dark world. No doubt you have heard the old saying: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I say the following with a spiritual smile. Certainly a woman’s wrath can get quite rugged, as most of us fellas can testify; but those who face the wrath of God and a literal place of eternal conscious torment of the wicked dead that Jesus Himself referred to as Hell—then it is as the song goes, “you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!”

    I will share something that actually seemed as if the Lord spoke deep inside of me one day years ago while I was out walking alone. It was if He said to me, “Ken, I don’t like it that you have to suffer sometimes. But if I just ‘zapped’ you full of faith, you wouldn’t be able to look back to see all that I have taken you through.” Now more than ever, I know this principle is true because God has caused me to survive—and if He grants me strength I will continue to survive—situations that were simply impossible for me to have gotten through on my own. Ah, but here’s the truth of God’s Word again; where we read — Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).

    Stay The Course Because 1 Peter 4:17 Judgments Are Going To Continue To Fall

    So troops, why must a Christian soldier be willing to follow Jesus, even if it means we have to endure hardship on occasion? Well, let me quote one of the greatest generals of Christ’s Army; the Apostle Paul, who was literally blown off his horse by the Risen Lord Himself when he tried to oppose God’s Church. Do you remember Jesus asked Saul, “Why do you persecute Me?” And the reason we must trust Jesus is because the good soldier needs to obey his orders immediately; and without question, for his commander to accomplish the objective which has been laid out.

    Brothers and sisters, if we are not spending time with God each day, then how will we even be able to receive our orders? No, the Lord doesn’t need us asking Him “why” we are to do something because God is already fully aware that on our own we’d be too frightened to even attempt what He wants us to do. Remember, these things are impossible for us, but not for the Lord. Think about it; if the Lord had first told you where you’d be going, and then asked if you wanted to go there, how many things in your life, now blessings, would you actually have been willing to go through?

    This is illustrated for me on almost a daily basis when I run into young men whom I coached in football. What a blessing it is as they now see how the hard training for success on the football field has prepared them for their off-field careers today. In 2 Corinthians chapter 1, beginning with verse 8, the Lord’s Apostle Paul put it this way — We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure to endure, that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.

    When non-Christians see your life rebound from a situation which is humanly impossible, in effect to see your life “rise from the dead,” you are then an instrument that God the Father is using to show the world His reality. And since our world puts so much faith in the power of human reason, by bringing His soldiers who are really willing to live out their faith in the Lord through “impossible” situations, God gives unbelievers an opportunity to come to Jesus by faith, when there is simply no other rational explanation why many who are Christians actually rejoice in—and through—unbelievable trials.

    It’s a most powerful testimony to this skeptical pagan “postmodern” culture in which God has chosen to place us, when His true children faithfully serve Him in gratitude, even if we must endure hardships. Your life as a Christian just might be the only way for a loved one to see Jesus. Then dear one, I exhort you let them see Him in you! As one famous preacher was fond of saying — “The Christian is the world’s Bible. What is it they read when they see you?” Now do you see why you are so very precious to God? And if the Lord cares for even the tiniest of creatures in this vast universe, then how much more, as His dear child, will He delight in you, beloved of God?

    For in Christ you are God the Father’s specially chosen vessel to share His love with those He’s placed around you. Not only does the God forgive us of our sins, but as His Christians, the Lord’s given us the unique joy of serving right along with Him as soldiers in this spiritual war where we get to share God’s joy as He loves another dead person back to life! And if you’ve never let the Lord use you to lead someone to Jesus, then you’ve missed out on one of the greatest feelings we human beings can have this side of Heaven. Guess what; the great news is that this feeling is highly addictive, it is non-fattening, and will even last throughout all eternity. So my brothers and sisters—just go for it!

    http://apprising.org/2008/10/the-tru...-back-to-life/
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