Archive for November, 2015


WHY ARE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE

WHY ARE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE

By: Gary L. Rodgers

WHY ARE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE

 

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (without self-control), fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady (reckless or rash), highminded (puffed up with pride), lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

God revealed some things that would happen as we were nearing the beginning of sorrows the Tribulation period. Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians writes.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (utter destructiveness); 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself (The Antichrist) above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

As we look around us we see all sorts of horrible things happening around the globe and right in our own back yards. It seems like the world is in a mad dash to gravel in whatever filth and cruelty that it can imagine. But we must never take our eyes off of the real culprit behind all of this. Satan!

I firmly believe that we are in the falling away era that scripture talks about. This falling away that’s mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is just a pinch of what Satan has in store for this world. He has blinded the eyes of the lost and today’s man is in search for anything but God. Remember that Jesus told us in John 8:32 that the truth shall make you free. Satan does all that he can to disguise the truth so that people will not see him for what he truly is. People are going after strange doctrines and fables and God is letting this happen because the man of sin, the son of Perdition, the Antichrist, is soon to appear on the scene during the Tribulation period. The world is being conditioned to receive this man of sin.

 

STRONG DELUSION

God goes after man again and again, but there comes a time when God stops chasing after man to be saved and he then sends them strong delusion as noted in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, so that they will then believe the lies that they so desire to believe in for they love unrighteous pleasures more than they love God.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:       12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This word delusion carries with it the meaning of wandering or straying as in hallucinating. In this case today’s man is wandering or straying in the pleasures of sin because he has no sight nor does he want the sight and correctness in mind to go in the right direction toward truth and holiness. Man has been trying in this past century to cast away anything that will tie him to or remind him of a Holy and Righteous God. Psalms 2 and Romans 1 also shed some light on these days that we are now in.

Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

THE FREE WILL OF MAN

Because of this God will mock them in their foolish attempt to cast Him and His Son away from them. People don’t stop to realize that there are times that God will give them what they want, even if it brings misery and death. Yet man through the influence of Satan always comes back with the old “well why didn’t God stop them?”

Satan has been good at getting people to blame God for just about everything. It’s true that God has the power to stop or prevent anything. But there is a little boundary between God and man that God will not step over. It’s called man’s free will or choice. Just as the angels had a free will to stay with God or follow after Lucifer so man must be given the same choice. The question is why?

In his timeless book “THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS,” Dr. Tony Evans goes into detail as to why man is given this matter of choice. In short form detail, man was given free choice to prove to Satan and the angelic realm that man can and will chose God for salvation. Every soul that gets saved brings more glory and honor to God and the unique thing about it is that it is all done sight unseen with faith. So who gets the glory? God! Does He deserve it? He certainly does!

 

THE REPROBATE MIND

The second portion of scripture that I mentioned for the days in which we now live comes to us from Romans chapter 1.

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; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

The reprobate mind that God gives them is a mind that has no moral or spiritual value. It is a worthless degenerative mind.

We are in that age where the people of the earth are falling away from sound doctrine, and day by day they tune their ears towards teachers who will teach them to follow after their own lusts. (2 Timothy 4:3)

We must not forget that like as Pharaoh the hearts of people will be hardened (Exodus 9:7, 35) to where they become insensitive and dull of hearing to the call and commandments of God.

 

THE WORST IS YET TO COME

We are headed for the worst time in the history of man. There has never been a time like this in history past.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

I believe that spiritual warfare is raging just as hot today as it did in the days when Noah entered into the Ark. Maybe even hotter still! All of this can only point to one thing, the soon eminent return of Christ (The day of the LORD, Acts 2:20) when He shall set up His kingdom here on earth. If we are to be taken out of the way seven years prior to that event then the rapture of the church must be at the very threshold of our era.

People were celebrating and giving in marriage when Noah entered into the Ark and God shut the door. Genesis 7:15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

The day is coming when God will shut the door to Heaven as well.

 

INVITATION

The bible teaches that you can know that you have eternal life as noted in (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.

And you can make that decision today…..

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

We are never encouraged to wait to see if we will be saved, but rather we are urged to put our faith and trust in Christ now, today; for tomorrow could be too late! This is not a choice for me to make for you; it is a choice that only you can make for yourself. And if you are wanting to make that choice then please follow along and say this simple prayer.

Lord I know what sin is and I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God who died on a cross, was buried, and resurrected from the dead for me. I am placing my full trust in you alone to save me and wash away all of my sin with your blood. Please come into my heart as my LORD and Savior. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you then we praise God for you. The bible teaches in Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place:____________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067. Contact us to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk and too answer any questions that you may have.

 

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THE FEAR OF THE LORD

THE FEAR OF THE LORD

By: Gary L. Rodgers

Fear of the Lord

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalms 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

If I were to summarize what I felt was the one thing that society at large is lacking in our world today, I would have to say that it is probably The Fear of the Lord!

The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” You want to be holy and have wisdom and understanding? The Bible says that we can get that if we fear the Lord.

Does God want us to fear Him to the point where we shudder and want to run and hide from Him? No! I don’t believe that at all. I believe that He wants to draw us close to His side to love us and train us, and yet He wants us to have a fear with regard to the consequences of sin because we know that our Father hates sin.

It was sin that put our Savior on a cruel cross. Not any sin that He committed, but as we know, it was our sin that would eternally separate us from God.

On Calvary it was the sins of the world that drove the nails through the flesh of Christ, who was the living veil which was torn between us and God.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Jesus is our true Ark of security to deliver us from the wrath of a Holy God. It is sin that still sends people to a lost and condemned eternity who will cry out from the depths of hell, My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?

DOST NOT THOU FEAR GOD

Next to Christ on the cross as we know, hung two thieves who were justly condemned for their life of sin. The one looking on Christ and believing in him rebuked the other saying Luke 23:40Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (Even in the face of sure death there are people that are so blindly led by Satan that they display no fear of God. Unfortunately for them they will find out what it means to experience fear in the hands of a living God. Hebrews 10:31) Continuing on with the one thief’s comments to the other thief with regard to their condemnation and guilt in verse 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. What a precious promise!

Matthew 27:39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. (The Jews being spiritually blind require a sign. (1 Cor. 1:22) therefore they do not walk by faith for “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 ) 43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

THE WORLD HAS BEEN TOLD

They got the message who Jesus was, it was nailed to the cross in three languages above His head. In Hebrew to tell the religious world, in Greek to tell the cultural and intellectual world, and in Latin to tell the rulers and political leaders of the world that this was indeed the King of the Jews; The Messiah, the Deliverer, the one whom the Jews sought.

The world stands naked before God, and the fig leaves of religion will not cover their sin. The Fig tree is often used in scripture to symbolize the Jewish nation of Israel. Being a part of the Fig Tree, a Jew, circumcised under the law will not save anyone. Because the world has been given the message that Jesus is the King of the Jews, no one will have an excuse for rejecting the Savior. No one!

The problem of their day was, and is, the same problem that this world has in our day. No faith from the people because they have no fear of the Lord.

Listen! Not everyone that stood before Christ on the cross that day was a non believer! There of course was His mother, and John, and other of His disciples that believed and trusted in Him. But I believe that scripture proves that there were still others that knew who He was but they lacked the faith and the spirit to trust Him.

I can be exhausted and stand next to a chair for hours believing that the chair is designed to hold me; that’s my belief. But none of that means anything if by faith in what I believe is not exercised by my sitting down.

THEY KNEW WHO HE WAS

Let’s now look at a parable in Matthew 21:33-41, and then we will tie up this parable with verse 45. This parable is just one of the places in scripture that causes me to believe that there were others who knew full well who Jesus was, including some of the priesthood who stood there among the crowds. And I have to ask myself this question. Why? Why if they knew that Jesus was the Son sent from God, why would they do such a thing? Now I’m not saying all of them knew, but I do believe that there were some that did!

As we read these verses I would like to interject some thoughts as we go through it.

Matthew 21:33 Hear another parable: (an illustration of a truth in a story line) There was a certain householder, (the Lord our God!) which planted a vineyard, (the house of Israel, a people chosen by God to be holy) and hedged it round about, (A divine hedge or wall of separation and protection. The Jews as chosen by God were to be a peculiar separated people from all others on the earth. Deut. 14:2) and digged a winepress (Emblematically the winepress typically speaks of judgment (Isaiah 63:2-4, Rev. 14:19-20) in it, and built a tower, (The Temple was the highest place within the city of Jerusalem where the Priests and Levites kept their watch every night. It was also a place where man met with God in the Holy of Holies. So it was not only up to the priesthood to watch over the Temple. They had a responsibility to safeguard the rituals and laws of God) and let it out to husbandmen, (These husbandmen were the Chief Priests and Pharisees and we will pick up on that in verse 45) and went into a far country: (The far country is speaking of Heaven where the householder (God) is waiting for the day when the vineyard (the souls of His people) are ready for the reapers to harvest.)

So let’s just pull our points together for a minute in this one verse.

  • The householder is God
  • The vineyard is the house of Israel the chosen of God
  • The hedge shows that they were to be a separated people
  • The winepress speaks figuratively of God’s judgment upon mankind
  • The tower as we know is the Temple. It was the place where the Priests and Levites would offer sacrifice to God on behalf of the people
  • The husbandmen are the Chief Priests and Pharisees who were responsible to the householder to tend to the vineyard and bring up a fruit (body of people) that were to be presented unto the Lord as a holy people.

THEY WANTED HIS WEALTH AND HIS POWER

Continuing on with the story in Matthew 21:

34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. (Who were these servants that were sent? The Prophets!) 35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence (fear) my son. (I think we all know who this son was? Jesus! The only begotten of the Father!) 38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the Heir; (Did you get that? They said this is the heir, meaning that this is the son, (they recognized who this son was) come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. (Ah ha! how interesting that they said this. First of all take notice that this is the husbandmen not the people of house of Israel that’s doing the talking, and they are plotting to kill the heir. And the core reason why they wanted to kill him was to seize on His inheritance.

If you are a part of an estate as the next one in line to gain power over the estate, you don’t get that unless the one ahead of you dies. I remember in 1994 when the Melendez brothers were sent to prison without the possibility of parole because they killed their parents in hopes of gaining their parents’ considerable fortune. They wanted to seize the inheritance so they plotted and killed their parents. There’s nothing new under the sun says Ecclesiastes 1:9.

THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD

Remember that earlier in the message I said that I believed that scripture proves that there were still others that knew who Jesus was but they lacked the faith and the spirit to trust Him? This parable is just part of it. In addition to what we have just read I would like to present to you the words of John 12:42 and 43.

John 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him;

[** I actually like the way that the NIV puts it. “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.”]

42 continued but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Keep that in mind as we get back into Matthew 21 and continue on with verse 39.

THEY FEARED LOSING THEIR POWER OVER THE PEOPLE

Matthew 21:39 And they caught him, (they arrested and condemned Him, the heir of the vineyard, Jesus!) and cast him out of the vineyard, (He was rejected by the very people that He came to seek and to save and they removed Him from the city of Jerusalem! He hung on a cross outside of the city, despised and rejected says Isaiah 53:3) and slew him. (they crucified him) 40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? 41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard (He will open up His vineyard to a new people that have made it their choice to be holy and acceptable unto God. Not as a Jew being one by natural birth, but one being a Jew by a spiritual birth believing God as did Abraham. Romans 4:16-17, Gal. 3:6-9) unto other husbandmen, (Who were these other husbandmen? The Gentiles!) which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. (the harvest of souls)

Often fear causes us to do things that in time we will regret. I believe that some and possibly a fair number of the Chief Priests and the Pharisees knew that Jesus was the Son, and God was convicting them of their error, for it says in verse 45 “And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.” You see! The reality of Christ’s message finally hit home. Not everyone in a church building is a believer. There are those who know who Jesus is but they are not willing to trust Him for fear of what they may be asked to give up. The rich young ruler proved that point. (Luke 18:22 & 23) Jesus was not after the young man’s wealth. Jesus was trying to get the young man to let go of his idol, money! But he couldn’t do it, not even for the sake of eternal life. How sad that there are others of the same mind.

We find in another portion of scripture that after Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, word got back to the Chief Priests and Pharisees about this and it says in John 11:47 & 48; Listen to this carefully! “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place (our prestigious office our station) and nation.

Apparently the Chief Priests and Pharisees craved the love for the praise of men more than they feared God and they had no desire to lose their position and wealth. No wonder Christ called them hypocrites and blind guides! The fear of losing power and wealth has caused many a person to do some of the most vile and unthinkable things that one could imagine.

TWOFOLD MEANING OF FEAR

The word fear in scripture carries a two-fold meaning. It means to be afraid to anger or disappoint someone. It also means to have a great deal of reverence towards someone or something.

Fear will cause us to show respect. Not only does fear build respect it also builds camaraderie and unity with others facing the same situations.

Nothing will teach us more, and nothing will cause us to have a greater love and respect for God and His people, and a love for lost souls, than when we grasp the truth regarding “The Fear of the Lord!”

INVITATION

If you have never trusted Christ to save your soul, then I would like to invite you to do so now. Simply follow along with me in praying while trusting in Christ and with a heart of sincerity repeat these words.

Lord I know what sin is and I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you are the Son of God who died on a cross, was buried, and resurrected from the dead for me. I am placing my full trust in you only to save me and wash away all of my sin with your blood. Please come into my heart as my LORD and Savior. Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, then we praise God for you. The bible teaches in Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place:____________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067, or visit our website at http://www.myerstownbaptistchurch.com/ to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk and too answer any questions that you may have.

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