Inmate Michael Sellers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California.
Our printed newsletters were provided to prison chaplains nationwide for the inmates. Presently, newsletter distribution to correctional facilities has been suspended due to poor funding. We would like you to visit our site regularly, so we will be updating this section whenever “The Good News Letter” is published.
Aside from the main article in each issue, we also include a section on the front page entitled “From Us To You.” Many inmates have informed us that “The Good News Letter” was used as a Bible study and often passed from one prisoner to another. Old issues are still available to inmates.
There is no room for discouragement in the lives of those who keep their eyes on Jesus and refuse to look down at the situation that consumes them. There is no mountain that God will not remove for those who love Him and are living according to His direction. Not only will He cast it into the sea, but your tormentors will eventually be swallowed up in the water as well! Mankind cannot change the human heart. Jesus is Lord of the Harvest, not us!
Sadly, in this world there is no human prince in shining armor who will come to your aid and change your life. However, Satan would like you to believe that there is, because he loves to counterfeit the things of God. Even so, the news is good, for God can do far better for you than some storybook character! He has offered us His own begotten Son, who not only gave His life for us, but also married us, and made us His Bride (Eph. 5:25).
So think the matter through thoroughly and consider the cost. Are you willing to turn your back on all the pleasurable ways you lived when you lived according to your carnal nature, no matter what it may cost you, and live for Christ, or die in your sins? “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15 NIV).
Here we are at the Christmas season again. It’s a happy time of year for most Christians as we remember God’s most precious gift to us; the gift of “…His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). However, if you listen to the nightly news, death is always just a breath away as we hear of murders, accidents, and suicides that often tend to increase during the holiday season.
We know that life is hard right now for many people. But God never caused America’s problems. Satan did! This country was started by fundamentalist Christians who took the Bible seriously and feared God. As a result, God blessed America and made her prosperous, powerful, and rich. Consequently, we won wars (Deut. 11:25), worshiped God in churches, read our Bibles, and raised American children according to Christian principles.
If you love the Lord, and live by His Spirit, “…the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven has been given to you, but not to them” (Matt. 13:11 NIV). The devil’s favorite tool is deception! All kinds of explanations of the occult have been given. Many people have come into contact with apparitions, which have often terrified them. Everyone’s heard of the so-called “haunted house” accounts that have been witnessed by many people.
Satan is having a temper tantrum. He knows that his time of controlling earth is almost up. So he is causing trouble everywhere. Have you noticed all the talk lately about UFO’s? Satan doesn’t know when the Rapture of the church will take place. But he is setting up an excuse for it. That way when millions of people suddenly disappear from the earth to meet Jesus in the air, Satan can spread the lie that they were taken to another planet by UFO’s.
One of the great controversies that has split up the Body of Christ over the years, has been in regard to the position of the Apostle Peter in the church. Many Christians have believed incorrectly, that St. Peter is the foundation of the Church of Christ. But he is not. Christ is the Rock on which our faith is to be anchored! (John 3:16, 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5-6.) The reason why Peter is said to be the foundation of our faith is due to the scripture in Matthew 16:13- 20.
The attitude I got from the church was that I was a Christian already because I attended Sunday School, and I lived in a Christian country. Nothing was said to me about having to be “Born Again” (see John 3:3) in order to get to Heaven. It was just assumed that I would go there someday as long as I was good and did enough good works. No one told me that I could never do enough good works to make up for the disease of sin...
Have you ever felt like a mouse caught in a trap? That bait was sitting right there, almost within arms reach. All you had to do was lean forward and grab for it. And that bait to you, looked just as mouth watering and tasty as that big hunk of cheese did to the mouse! Perhaps there was an element of danger involved in reaching for that bait, but in some strange way, that only made the whole adventure even more appealing.
In years past, God has blessed our nation and its people so abundantly due to the fact that it was founded on Christianity by Christians who loved and served our only Savior, Jesus Christ. However, that has changed. America’s best days are behind her. God has been rejected by those who influence the population, and it has taken its toll on our society. God, who created us and gave His Son for our salvation, has been replaced by idols.
Has Christ been “put on the back burner” in your life? He has been replaced by some who “…hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19 NIV). It’s no coincidence that mankind was originally started out in a beautiful garden. It is symbolic of the spiritual garden of souls that God expects to win through His Holy children.
We all know life is hard right now. And it is easy to get discouraged. To many Christians, the question is “Why is God letting this happen to me? What’s happened to America?” Does it feel like the rug you have been standing on has been suddenly ripped away from you? The problem is that you need a firm foundation. Chances are that although you thought you were standing on a nice plush rug, it was really only sinking sand (Matt. 7:24-27).
We know that with all the stress of modern life you are likely be discouraged, and your faith will be tested. However, if you really love the Lord, even if you step in a mud puddle, only your feet are dirty. Don’t let Satan splash any more mud on you. Take it to the Lord in contrition and repentance and let Him wash your feet and make them clean again. William Cowper wrote a beautiful hymn that expresses the point more clearly.
There has always been crime in America. But there used to be a saying, “Crime does not pay.” Even that has changed in some states that have liberal legislators and mayors whose sympathies are more with the perpetrator than the victim. New diseases, like COVID, are popping up at an alarming rate. It is for these reasons that we are repeating an article published in our May-June 1997 issue of “The Good News Letter” entitled “Mystery Babylon.”
In this crazy, mixed up world we live in today, Christmas brings back memories of a softer, sweeter time. We are nostalgic about the days when people had more respect for God, when Department stores played Christmas carols that gloried Christ, not Santa Clause, when parents read the Christmas story to their children from the Bible, and when people felt an inner joy glorifying God for that special day, the birth of Christ.
So, if you are a Born Again, Holy Spirit filled Christian, do not dwell on what you don’t have. Be glad you know the Lord. And reach out for a closer walk with Him. For, even in America, the doors may soon be closing, and it will be harder to worship with the freedom we have all taken for granted for so long. Read your Bible while there is still time. Memorize scripture so that you will keep it in your heart, and pray often, while you still can.
The human heart has always sought to be deified, to become in effect, a “little god.” It stems from the original sin, pride! People, there is no greater sin than pride! It was the sin that caused Lucifer to rebel against God and become a fallen angel known as Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15 and Ezekiel 28:13-17). Pride is what made the religious leaders so angry at Jesus. For He exposed their sin, and there’s nothing Satan hates more than to be exposed!
Now it’s one thing when nominal Christians and worldly folk are deceived by the devil’s lies. For the Bible calls him “...that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world...” (Rev. 12:9 KJV). But it’s another thing entirely when Christians, who should know better, are so easily deceived by him! Most churches these days have fallen so far away from Christ that they can even engage in witchcraft...
In recent decades Christianity has become so watered down that our safety and freedom is in danger and crime has gotten out of control. So be aware that the evil strategy behind all the crime and anti-Christian rhetoric we see today does not come from a human source. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and...” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
People wonder why there is so much crime and evil in society. It is because people no longer fear God. Too many pastors and televangelists have been portraying the Lord, our Holy Creator, as if He were some big genie in the sky. People come away with the idea that God exists to serve us instead of the other way around. For “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).
There are many nominal Christians in this world today. However, true Christianity is not so easy. It requires a great deal of faith and trust, putting Christ in the driver’s seat of your life and not being a backseat driver. You may go through difficult times. But, “trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV).
It’s not hard to feel like George Orwell’s book, “1984” is becoming a reality. “Big Brother” has to be everywhere. In populated areas, you can’t even walk down the street, or look in a store without being under surveillance. Through computer networks, even the most personal of information can be seen by people you don’t even know. American society seems to be in the process of being divided up along economic lines.
In other words, you are never going to grow good spiritual fruit for God unless you remain in Christ. He will never leave you if you remain in Him. However, you can leave Him, the same way Adam and Eve did. They were perfect originally; the way God sees you when you repent of your sin and accept Christ as Savior and Lord. But, knowing the difference between right and wrong, they deliberately chose not to obey God and became separated from Him.
Things have gotten tough right now. However, God hasn’t forsaken you, as you may think. He’s just refining your faith, because He loves you, and He wants to see you in Heaven someday, because the alternative (Revelation 20:15, Mark 9:48-49) is too horrible to think about. That’s why you’re having problems. The Lord is just trying to get your attention to focus you on what is ultimately most important. And that’s very often a painful lesson.
However, it’s a different story when the walls feel like they’re closing in on you and you’re squeezed from every side. That’s how many good people must feel these days. With all the public prayers and speeches that went on in Washington DC the day before the attack on the Capitol, one would assume that the mob that launched it thought they were doing the right thing and that their motives were well intentioned. But they were wrong!
Slowly, the tentacles come together, to work toward their common goal. So far, we have the media tentacle, the health care tentacle, the education tentacle, the government tentacle, and the technology tentacle. Their purpose is to squeeze and suppress the individual rights of any objectors to move them into compliance. So, what is the Christian to do? Here’s a clue. “I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from...
One benefit of maturing in Christ is learning so much more about the way God works with us. It’s so important because our enemy, the devil, does everything he can to discourage our Christian faith. So, the less you understand God’s ways of doing things, the easier it is for Satan and his demons to lie to you about the Lord’s motives. It’s because we all live in a carnal world that is currently being run by God’s enemy.
We, as a nation, are at a crossroad spiritually. Will we stand by the hope and faith our founders embraced, when they made up our United States Constitution? Or will we put our faith and trust in human wisdom and forget the Lord? Will we still live by the motto, “In God we trust” or will we look to man-made philosophies like secular humanism and socialism? It has been said that people usually get the government that they deserve.
However, this is only the beginning of the shaking. The shaking will get a lot worse. So be prepared for the battle. We all know about the unusual weather conditions that have gotten more frequent. And human temperaments are at a fever pitch. We, in the United States, have seen the anger and violent rage of political agitators filled with hate. Their riots and anarchy have ruined many cities in this country.
Christ is our only salvation, not the church, not your pastor, not your denomination! Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1 NIV). There is only one gate that leads to Heaven. Jesus said, “I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9 NIV).
We have all had to deal with problems associated with the Corona virus. That has created a domino effect with financial problems, domestic woes, and death of loved ones. When you love and serve Christ, God is stronger when you are weaker. No matter what problem the enemy brings, “You... have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NIV).
Has there been some spiritual harassment going on in your life that you are embarrassed about? It may be an addiction to something like alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or pornography. Even something that’s basically good, like food, can become obsessive when pushed to the point of obesity. Do you sometimes feel controlled by some type of weird irrational behavior, such as excessive neatness or a chronic desire to even things out?
Of all the prophecy in the Bible one of the most exciting for Christians is the doctrine of the Rapture. For, “... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” (1 Cor. 15:50 NIV). In other words, these flesh and blood bodies that we live in today will never reach Heaven. Your spirit will be wiped clean of sin when you sincerely repent and ask God’s forgiveness.
How many Cains do we have today? “Lord, I get up in the middle of the night and deliver little babies into the world.” “I work with the handicapped and do a great service to society.” “I risk my life every day as a police officer to protect people.” “I am a big important attorney, but I take some cases without charge as a service to my community.” “I am a rock star and I have raised millions of dollars for the starving...”
“In that very hour of testing, God will give you a peace within and the spiritual strength to resist them all the way to the end. That is, until you finally arrive home, where He’ll be waiting for you in glory! For nothing they do can stop Him from loving you, or tear Him from your heart and life.” Faith is not about prosperity in this world, because, “Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world...’” (John 18:36 NIV).
Since the time of the early church there have always been those who have tried to profit from the Gospel (1 Timothy 6:10). They are false prophets, because anyone who truly loves and serves Jesus Christ is led by His Holy Spirit. Therefore, they will not attempt to profit from that which Christ purchased in His own blood (Acts 8:22-23, 1 Peter 1:18-19)! That means you need more than lip service (Mark 7:6-8).
I am not saying that we get into Heaven as a result of works. None of us could ever buy our own salvation in a million lifetimes! The cost is far too high. Nor do I mean to imply that anything needs to be added to the enormous price that Jesus paid for us on Calvary. However, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is going to end up in Heaven. Not everyone who has gone thru the Born Again experience will end up...
Satan hates all of those who truly love and serve Jesus Christ. However, those of us who do are under God’s protection until our work for Him is done and God takes us home to Heaven (John 14:2, Luke 16:22). Yet those who do not live for Christ are not protected... He will take that man or woman who prefers the temporal pleasures of this world system, and as soon as their usefulness to him is over, Satan will kill them.
It’s Christmas time, a joyful and special time of the year for those of us who consider ourselves Christians! It is also a time that is eagerly anticipated by those who seek to profit from the occasion... Many people associate Christmas with children, who in turn, associate it with Santa Clause and stockings filled with gifts. But whose birthday is it? It’s the birthday of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ (see John 3:16).
When you have a need in your walk with God, simply go to the Lord and tell Him about it in prayer. However, don’t go with a self-satisfied attitude, such as “I deserve it because I’m a King’s Kid.” Jesus taught the importance of humility in our walk with God (Luke 14:8-11). The “King’s Kid Doctrine” teaches pride (James 4:6), self-esteem, and an uppity, arrogant attitude, which is the opposite of the teachings of Christ.
Do you know what it finally took to destroy the ancient Celtic religion? It took the influence of Christianity, and the authority and Power of the blood of Christ! However, these days, after enjoying the blessings of God for hundreds of years, people in formerly Christian nations, have been drifting away from Christ. Consequently, they are getting involved, once more, in the forbidden realm of the occult. It may...
Therefore, it is hard for a person to repent and come back to Christ, for sin sets up a barrier between God and us (Isaiah 59:2). That’s why those who preach and teach that Christians can embrace the world, have become enemies of God (James 4:4), even though they may claim to love Christ. Jesus indicated that the unpardonable sin is the sin that goes beyond the point of no return in the heart of a person who once knew God.
The Christian who really has faith is going to remain humble during the good times and the bad (see Romans 8:28). When you have faith in God, the Lord can work miracles in your life, because you stop trusting in your own wisdom or judgment, and you no longer worry about circumstances, or what other people tell you. You trust God, no matter what! That is the only way that God can truly grow good fruit in us.
Now things have gotten so bad, in this once godly country that there are those who are promoting infanticide & socialism. This is just one step away from communism! Communism is not only anti-Christian, it is also a failure everywhere worldwide unless it is forced on people. If communism were desirable, so many people would not try to come to the United States. Therefore, if you love Jesus, you’re just a soldier for Christ.
Check everything out in scripture, just to make sure the doctrine you are being taught is correct. Unfortunately however, most churches these days have drifted so far away from Christ that many of them don’t even believe that the devil or demons exist! Secular Humanism is being taught in many pulpits instead of the Word of God. It is especially being promoted by the media and educational institutions.
Many people are Christians in name only, but don’t even know Christ. They consider themselves Christians because that’s what their parents claimed to be. Many others think that if you attend a church regularly, you must be a Christian. They have churchianity, not Christianity. People, your church cannot save you! “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5-6 NIV).
We were designed to be eternal creatures. So, a plan was developed where God Himself, God the Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, would pay the debt for our sin. He would suffer the most horrendous, torturous death ever to be conceived by the human race. He would die in our place, for our sin. God’s Son knew ahead of time what that would mean. He foretold, through the prophets, what that would entail.
Who are the enemies of righteousness? Those who want to kill the innocent and fight in favor of the guilty. They are the ones who oppose the Lord and promote appeasement to those who break His laws. Evil is increasing rapidly in this world, even in former Christian nations. It is growing like a cancer that is infecting society at an accelerated pace. People used to be ashamed when they were caught doing evil.
One day you realize that it’s not you who controls the money; the money controls you! These days, most American Christians have become like the Laodicean church Jesus warned in Revelation 3:14-22, rich and increased with goods, but poor in righteousness and humility toward God. So remember, the Word of God was not founded on the American Dream, but on the spilt blood and sacrifice of God’s own Son!
There is no fence sitting with God! If you truly love and serve Christ, you’re going to make people angry. There is no getting around it. Jesus, the Apostles, and all the great prophets of God have always had their share of enemies. The blood of martyrs has blazed a crimson trail down the corridors of time. Therefore, if you’ve been trying to live in both worlds, and you want everyone to like you, it is a recipe for disaster!
Due to the recent death of President George H. W. Bush, we would like to share with you a letter that the President sent to Anne Kaestner of Bible Believers Fellowship, Inc. The letter was written about the time of “Operation Desert Storm” the war with Iraq.
It’s the Christmas season, and we Christians have much to be joyful about! But our joy is in the Lord and what He has done for us. It is certainly not in the carnal things of this world (1 John 2:15-17). Have you noticed how many times the devil tries to distract us from Christ at Christmas? Santa Claus, a fictional character, usually gets more honor than Christ. Sometimes that even includes churches.
Why do we need spiritual weapons? Because God gave temporary control of this world to Adam, our ancestor. But Adam loved Eve more than he loved God. So he knowingly allowed it to fall into the hands of the devil, Satan. That’s why our enemy, the devil, rules this world right now (Matt. 4:8-10, John 12:31). He uses an army of fallen angels, called demons, to help him. It all started with a mutiny against God...
Everyone has troubles. And misery has no favorites. You may be rich, or poor, old or young, healthy or sick, attractive or plain, single or married. And race and religion make no difference to your enemy, Satan. God loves you, and He wants to control your life, and solve your problems. The Lord’s intelligence is so far beyond ours that “...the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Cor. 3:19-20 NIV).
How is the enemy of Christ working to deceive people? The answer is through the subtle brainwashing of ideas. Ideas are far more important than most people realize. For they are the framework from which all accomplishments evolve, both good and evil... Slowly, over a long period of time, humanistic ideas based on man-made theologies, have been promoted. Seemingly innocent tools such as secular...
Not since the Civil War has America been so politically divided! This nation was founded by Christians who based our government on the laws of God. But it has become so polarized that it reminds us of the prophecy of Jesus, who said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people...” (Matt. 24:10-13 NIV).
Has God made you a special promise that has not yet occurred? If you love and serve Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, you are His child (John 1:13-14). As such, God loves you (see John 16:27). Therefore, He may have made you a promise of something He plans to do in your life. Has this happened to you? Do you worry that you might have misunderstood the Lord?
As you grow closer to the Lord Jesus, it will get even harder. Satan will try every dirty trick and carnal temptation to stop you before you get to your goal. As hard as you struggle to live above sin, it will always be before you. You wait on line at the supermarket to pay for some groceries and there’s some sleazy magazine with a tantalizing caption just tempting you to look and then buy....
Many people are too ashamed to come to Christ. They think that surely they are too evil for God to love them. Is there some sin in your life that you have struggled with for so long? Are you tired of the pain and shame? Have you tried everything else to no avail? Is your burden too heavy for you to bear? Perhaps you are at a crossroad in your life and you feel the tug of Satan trying to get you to do something drastic.
The point is that you can’t bargain with God. It has to be His will in your life, not yours. I had to learn not to be a backseat driver, and to let the Holy Spirit have control of the wheel and navigation. It doesn’t matter whether you know where you’re going or not. The Lord knows where He’s taking you! Remember, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (see Genesis17:4-5).
Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you? Do you often feel that you are all alone in your walk with Christ? That even your church and fellow Christians don’t know what you are going through? And you feel that they will never understand. You ask yourself, “Why is this coming upon me?” Perhaps you have been trying to live for God but everything you do seems to go wrong...
To show you how deceptive Satan and his demons (fallen angels) are, one of their favorite lies is that humans can come back after death as ghosts and haunt people. Some individuals have engaged in occult practices, such as a séance. This is strictly forbidden in the Bible (Deut. 18:10 and Isaiah 47:13)! But those who have done so have sometimes claimed to have seen their loved one in a ghost-like...
We all like to receive useful gifts. But did you know who is the greatest gift giver of all? It is the Lord Himself. Salvation alone is a gift beyond anything we humans deserve. However, after salvation, God gives even more gifts to those who love and serve Him. Unlike the clothes, flowers, candy, etcetera, that we mortals give, God’s gifts never wear out or become obsolete.
For it is easy to become disillusioned as this world drifts further away from the light of Christ. One topic that seems to be on the minds of a lot of Americans lately is the controversy over the “Star Spangled Banner” being played during sporting events. What’s scary for some is that this once united country has become very divided. People hear one thing and then another and wonder what to believe.
The question has been in the mind of people for thousands of years. “How can I please God?” The unsaved ask, “What can God do for me?” But the spiritually mature in Christ ask, “Lord, what is Your will for my life?” So it’s not about what we can do for God, but what God can do through us. God wants good spiritual fruit from us, not carnal! And Jesus said that no one will enter the kingdom of God...
Now, let’s get to the root of the issue. All these problems boil down to one general fact. People don’t fear God anymore! And who is mostly responsible for this? It’s the purveyors of “secular humanism,” that liberal propaganda that has reached its tentacles into vast segments of society! In other words, it is brainwashing the public to disregard any biblical teachings or moral values.
One of my favorite hymns is “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken” by John Newton. The music is so beautiful and the words are music to my ears. It’s because, for those of us who love and serve Jesus, it moves our thoughts away from the carnal things of this world (see John 17:6-16 and 1 John 2:15-17). And it encourages our confidence and trust in God and His promises to us.
Let’s face it, this is a very difficult world in which we live, especially in these last days before the Lord’s return. Satan wants to weaken our faith and drown out every vestige of Christianity from our culture. Faith is the key to the whole thing! For, if the enemy can weaken our faith he weakens the church. For “...without faith it is impossible to please God...” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). There are several ways he...
There is nothing in all creation that is as special to God as repentant sinner. Those who condemn Trump the most for something that happened eleven years should look in the mirror of God themselves, the Bible, and see how they measure up. Who among us isn’t ashamed and embarrassed about something they did in their life that they would not want others to know about?
The problem is that as society continues to draw further away from the traditional Judo-Christian values America was founded on, the bad apple population increases. And Satan has added a new component to his recipe for the decay of society. We are told thru educational establishments, liberals, and modern entertainment that we are not supposed to criticize anyone else’s religion or lifestyle.
How comforting it is to know that when we put the Lord totally first in our lives, God protects us even when we do not know we are in danger. And in this crazy world we live in today those of us who love Christ need His constant protection. We trust God to keep us safe. As believers, we all go through trials and tests of faith. However, if you want the Lord’s protection you must put Him first in your life!
The problem is that elevating Christian pastors up on a pedestal, and putting ones trusttotally in human wisdom is not good for the pastor. And it is not good for the congregation. For it can lure him into the sin of pride. And there’s nothing that can cause a worse roadblock between humans and God! It was the original sin that caused Lucifer to think that he was smarter than God.
With all the gift giving we Christians do during the holiday season, there is usually one person missing from our gift list. That is the guest of honor, who is so often overlooked among the gaiety of festivities. With all the houses lit up during the Christmas season, one in particular caught our eye. In colorful lights on the front lawn of a home the message read “Happy Birthday Jesus.”
As Christians we need to grow in our walk with God. The Born Again experience is only the beginning of our relationship with the Lord. Not the end! We were not saved from the power of this sinful world (1 John 2:15-17) so that we can continue to live as before (Ephesians 2:1-5). It is the job of the church to teach the congregation how to please the Lord (1 Peter 5:1-11). But too many...
The human heart is sometimes so proud and stubborn that it may take the kindness and prayers of many believers over several years before the ice can melt and Christ can enter in. The Holy Spirit will bring believers into the life of someone you want to reach. Each one will sow more seeds of faith until one finally sprouts roots (Matt. 13:18-23). Remember that it took years for hardness to grow...
Have you been having a problem with your walk with the Lord lately? Does it seem like something is missing? Were you once feeling so close to Christ that you felt joy and peace in your heart but now it’s as if something is blocking your way? That’s a familiar problem many Christians go through in their walk with God. I went through it myself back in the 1980’s. A stumbling block...
This is a difficult world we live in, so we want to encourage those of you who have become discouraged by the misery so many are facing this season. The Bible tells us, “...our struggle is not against flesh and blood [humans], but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12 NIV).
Satan will dangle his bait right under your nose. Like the forbidden fruit, it will seem good to your senses (Genesis 3:6). But there’s a hook in there that the devil will use to reel you in! “...Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14-15).
Then the chorus comes again. “‘Bye-bye, Miss American Pie’ drove a Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry...” Repeating the same theme that we as a nation were no longer attached to the Vine of Christ (John 15:1-8) and therefore, had no spiritual moisture to grow good fruit (see Galatians 5:22-25). The consequences are a dead, spiritually lifeless nation that appears to God...
There is nothing that makes the Lord more proud of us than our faith and confidence in Him. And nothing displeases Him more than our lack of faith (Hebrews 11:6)! Nevertheless, the Lord often overlooks our fears and human frailties as long as we love Him with all our heart and try to please Him (see Psalms 103:13-14). Many lies among God’s loved ones are committed out of fear.
Some young people from my parent’s church wanted to go into the city to see what they called a “Christian” musical called “Godspell.” “All the actors in it are Christians,” they told me. When we got there, I was shocked at what I saw! My Savior, Jesus Christ, was being portrayed as a clown! I felt no Presence of God in it. Instead it was a raucous, salacious, mockery of the Lord!
Do you think that you have been suffering because God doesn’t love you? No! It is because He loves you so much (John 3:16, Romans 5:3-8, 1 John 4:16)! He is a loving Shepherd to His sheep. He sees the wolves out there. He knows how they are devouring their prey (Ezekiel 22:26-28, 2 Peter 2:17-22, Gal. 2:4-6). And He is warning His precious flock to turn away from the things of this world.
Christ can deliver anyone from sin, no matter how vile that sin may be. But He cannot do anything with the proud hypocrites who, through their church attendance and social programs, think they can buy their way into Heaven! Pride was the original human sin! The only thing worse is hypocrisy added to pride! Nothing gets in God’s way more than those who claim to love Him, yet do evil in His name!
There are many spiritual levels to reach as we live for Jesus Christ. How far any of us go depends upon whether or not we pass the preliminary trials and tests of faith (1 Peter 2:18-23). Everything will be going well for awhile. Then, the Lord begins to turn up the heat (Proverbs 17:3). When this occurs, most people wonder, “What happened? God was blessing me so much!” Life suddenly becomes a lot harder.
So if you love the Lord with all your heart (Mark 12:30), but have been suffering all kinds of weird afflictions, take heart! For God is preparing, in you, an unshakable foundation! Consequently, if you have been feeling the Refiner’s Fire (see Zechariah 13:9, Jeremiah 9:7, Psalm 66:10, Isaiah 48:10, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Rev. 3:18-19), you are in good company. All the prophets and apostles of God have felt it.
One of the greatest desires of those of us who love and serve Jesus Christ is to bring new souls into His Heavenly Kingdom. We want to lead them to Christ so that they will receive the same love (1 Peter 1:22), hope (Acts 26:6-7), peace (Phil. 4:7), and joy (Nehemiah 8:10) that we have in our Lord. It is a desire every Christian should have. In fact, it is a part of the Great Commission!
Peter was right. These things were definitely strange! But then, “...we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against... spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). You see, God allows attacks like this to occur so that, after He has accomplished the things He planned to do (see Isaiah 55:10-11), “...no flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Corinthians 1:29 KJV).
As soon as we try to do what Christ tells us to do, every roadblock imaginable gets in our way. On the surface, it looks as if Satan is winning the battle. That obstacle seems like a mountain and we feel so tiny compared to it. So we look to Christ for our strength! The Lord will fight for us, as long as we remain in His will. God not only wants to win the battle, he wants to make the enemy grovel in defeat!
Our Creator is not interested in fancy cathedrals or beautiful buildings made by men. “‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord... ‘You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!’” (Acts 7:49-51 NIV). That is the biggest mistake in the Christian church! People want to please God in their own way.
Remain in the Vine and do not be discouraged by the rumblings of the world around you (Psalm 37). For those who build their house on anything carnal will fall by the wayside (Matt. 13:4, 13:19, 7:24-27, 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:19-22). But when we build our house upon the faith and trust we have in Christ Jesus, “...the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18 KJV).
“Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion” (Jude 1:11 NIV). The spiritual influence of these three men is very prevalent in the church today! None of these men were pagans! Each of them claimed to love God, and to be living for Him! Nevertheless, each one of them was self-righteous and rebellious.
When our faith is built on the Rock, the earth loses its power over us! As the prophet said, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalm 40:2 KJV). When we rely on our own flesh, we will fail (Psalm 127:1). However, when we trust in Christ, His Spirit is there to guide us no matter how fierce the storm or how dark it may get.
The narrow path that leads to Heaven is a race for the finish line. You have to stay on the straight and narrow. Many people believe that they can sin a little now and then make up for it later by doing a few good deeds. It won’t work! Jesus paid an incredible price for our sins 2000 years ago, but unless you love Him enough to live for Him on a daily basis, putting Him first in your life, you will not...
One of the biggest problems the church faces today is the tremendous amount of false doctrine, not just on theological, but also on political issues as well. Doctrines of demons are usually promoted by the twisted scripture approach. That’s where one verse is taken out of context and its meaning is totally changed. This has been used as a tool of Satan to manipulate Christians for years.
Like Nimrod, Cain, & Martha, there will always be those who feel they can get all the way into Heaven through man-made success. But Nimrod’s kingdom was destroyed, Cain’s life was ruined, and Martha was reprimanded by Jesus in front of her sister! So, remember the words of the Lord, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the Earth” (Psalms 46:10 KJV).
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