Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Haiti Cursed?

Sure, but so is Houston and Hawaii. Honduras and Hattiesburg. So is Holland and Hong Kong. For that matter the whole earth is cursed!

What is so surprising is the fact that so many people who should already understand this (Pat Robertson!) act as if Haiti is being singled out. Can you handle the truth? The truth is: Haitians and all the rest of mankind, in Adam, made a pact with the devil a long long time ago. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve entered in to a pact with satan to throw off God's rightful authority as their sovereign king and creator; to grasp after autonomy, godhood. And because of this ill-fated folly they and consequently all mankind and the earth itself was cursed. God had warned them that in the day they ate of the fruit of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" they would surely die. And men have been dropping like flies ever since. We don't get to choose how we go. Some will go in their sleep. Some will be killed in earthquakes. The fact is: we are going to go. Are we prepared to meet God on the other end is the major concern.

Perhaps it seems as though Haiti has been receiving a disproportionate percentage of the curse. Like every nation on earth they have sinned against Almighty God. Their government is corrupt. So is ours. There's the practice of voodoo. Ever been to Louisiana? I think, however, the unsaved among us should give heed to Jesus' words when he was questioned regarding some other deaths that seemed to be curse-related . . .

" There were some present at that very time who told him [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:1-5.

When it comes to "perishing", does it really matter how you get there?

Take a look in the mirror, Pat!

Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)

Monday, January 11, 2010


" . . . As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans 10:15

Let's break down what the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse. In chapter ten of the letter to the Romans, Paul is summing up what is required for a person to be justified before our Holy God. As we come to verse 15, he is detailing how one actually comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Simply put, the Gospel (the Good News) must be fully heard and believed in order for a sinner to be saved from the just wrath of God. Of course, you don't have to be an ordained minister to be qualified to explain the Gospel; but I hope no one would deny that this is the ordained minister's primary and most crucial function.

The verse that I have highlighted is actually a quote from the prophet Isaiah, who in chapter 52 verse 7 of his prophecy stated,

" How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

I wonder how many preachers today have "beautiful feet"? As I look over the biggest names in popular christianity; I have to say, "not too many"! What does every single individual who walks into a church on Sunday morning have in common? The have all sinned against a Holy God. For many people this is a way of life; they are called "the unsaved". This is what they do. The others are believers; but even so, throughout the week they have betrayed the innocent blood Jesus shed for them on the cross.
R. C. Sproul aptly refers to this as "cosmic treason".

But when these kind of folks walk into the churches of Dollar, Jakes, Osteen, Hinn and their ilk what do they hear? Do they hear of the offense they have given to their Creator? Do they hear that they are fallen creatures in need of a foreign righteousness to clothe them that they will not be condemned by the unrelenting justice of Almighty God? Do they hear that the entire penalty has been borne and full debt has been paid by the sinless Son of God? And that trusting Jesus alone to bear their guilt is the ONLY way to be saved from Almighty God's righteous wrath? Do we hear the Good News that there is now a way for sinful men, like you and me, to stand justified before a Holy God? I've watched a lot of these guys' broadcasts and have yet to hear it, even once.

What do we hear instead? We hear: "God wants you to be a champion", "Jesus was rich and His children should be rich, too", "Dogs have little dogs, cats have little cats; so what does God have", "If you have enough faith, sickness cannot exist in your body", "Jesus wasn't God; Jesus was a man, because God wanted to show what He could do through a man"!

These preachers (and any who model them) have hammer-toes, bunions and their feet stink to high heaven!

We don't need self-glorifying and blatantly false proclamations. We, saved and unsaved, need to repeatedly hear the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ. We must always be brought to terms with the loving God who sacrificed His innocent Son because He did not want to condemn His people. We have to face that even in our saved state we continually spurn that unfathomable love by our every sin. Nonetheless, we still have the promise of forgiveness if we come to Him in repentance. We must constantly be encouraged to mortify our sin and to vivify Godly virtue that we may be conformed to the image of our Lord. Our hope must be perpetually stoked by the proclamation of justification by faith ALONE in Jesus Christ ALONE to the glory of God ALONE! And that hope may only be promulgated through the triune God's sole method of special revelation: the Bible.

There are too many pretty hair-do's, too many GQ suits, too many bulging biceps, too many flashy cars, too many shapely legs haunting our pulpits. We need more beautiful feet. Feet tirelessly leading us to the cross. Feet leading us to repentance. Feet leading us to gratitude. Feet leading us to biblical faith. Feet leading us to contentment. Feet leading us to to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. We need beautiful feet!!!

Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)

P.S. I am eternally thankful for the beautiful feet of men like Michael Leach, R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton and John Piper who have helped me to understand and love this Gospel.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

2010: The Year of Thinking Biblically?

It's a new year and already I'm a little ticked off. If you are the least bit curious as to where I have been hiding since my post of June 7, 2009, the answer is: over at Facebook. Now, you may think Facebook is a monumental waste of time; but it has afforded me the opportunity to share a little of what I talk about here without always preaching to the choir. What has ticked me off is the large number of professing "christians" who have espoused this "designer christianity" that does nothing but make unbelievers all the more resistant to true Biblical theology.

Recently, I posted a statement condemning abortion as a sinful and heinous act. One of my friends (a female) responded in opposition stating that there were valid reasons for a woman to have an abortion. I challenged her position in private emails, away from the public forum of Facebook and I was blind-sided by one of her defenses. I shouldn't have been; but I was and I'll explain why. Part of her defense for abortion was her perception that the Bible is "full of contradictions". Of course, she failed to provide even one example of any such contradiction. Here is the kicker: she continually posts these pithy, quasi-spiritual statements on Facebook. One of her recurring posts is the "Go to Church" command that she posts frequently on Sunday mornings. I can't help thinking: "Whatever for? To hear teachings from a book that is (as she believes) 'full of contradictions'"? What is mind-blowing is that she has absolutely no clue as to the duplicity infecting her words.

This is the kind of non-thinking that I hope becomes extinct among professing Christians in the Year of our Lord, 2010. Folks, we have to make a decision and commit to it. Either the Bible is the inerrant, infallible and immutable Word of God; authoritative in all it teaches or it is not. It's that simple. If it is the former, then it must be the final rule of our faith and practice.

I challenge all of you "designer christians" to at least be honest. If you don't believe the Bible please have the common decency to stop calling yourselves "Christians". Try "Cubic Zirconiums" or "Soy Beans"!

Notice I didn't say, " if you're not going to do everything the Bible says . . ." That would mean we all would have to stop calling ourselves "Christians". None of us can keep the whole Word without fail. But if at the very minimum you don't even acknowledge the veracity of Scripture, then you are not a Christian. You are a fake a fraud and a total black-eye on Jesus' bride! So please, go set up a religion of your own; draft official tenets to which you can submit and support. Recruit those who think like yourselves. Before you know it you'll be featured on Oprah and even have a television network of your own . . . you can call it TBN!

Now for those of you who love, and I mean Psalm 119-Love, God's Word . . .what must we do to make 2010 the "Year of Thinking Biblically"? The first thing we must do is READ God's Word. ALL OF IT!!! We have many guides to help us read the Bible through in one year. This is a fine goal; but I think it is more important to read the Bible through continually year after year. We must continually feast on Scripture.

"But brother Keith, I need a plan". Today is your blessed day for I, indeed, have a plan! I highly recommend reading the Bible chronologically. I'm positive that many of you have read the Bible through in its given order. A chronological study of Scripture will allow you to understand God's redemptive plan linearly as it unfolded. This is particularly helpful when studying I and II Samuel, I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles. When read chronologically the prophecies of the major and minor prophets are inserted into the books where they were historically pronounced. This gives the reader a more clear understanding of the status of the divided Kingdoms; and the acts of the people and various kings in light of the warnings they received. I must say that reading the Bible this way made a huge difference in my understanding. Huge!

Here is the chronological list of the books of the Bible

The next thing we must do is commit to memorizing Scripture. No small order here. Knowing exact chapter and verse is a great goal; but we should at least know where to find just about anything in our book. Thank God for James Strong and!

Next, meditating on the Word. Now I'm preaching to myself. We have to hide God's Word in our hearts if we are going to live by it. A bevy of good sound Bible commentaries are available online for free! Try this one:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Finally, we've got to follow James' admonition to be "doers of the Word and not hearers only"! As Nike says, "Just Do It"! Caution: not in a sense that there is any merit toward salvation in it, but because we know the Word is the Truth and we are the people of the Truth. Face it, because you trust chairs to hold you, you never hesitate to sit in one. Because you trust your spouse, you never hesitate to leave your house. Because you trust your President . . . well, y'know what I mean!

I'm throwing down the gauntlet fellow believers. Are we "Christians" or are we "Cubic Zirconiums" Let's resolve (strong word) to love God's Word as we do the God who reveals Himself in it!!! Remembering that we can do NOTHING on our own. It is our sovereign king, Jesus who is our nourishing vine. And if you run into any of those "designer christians", give 'em a packet of soy sauce and a smile!

Let's make 2010 (and beyond) the year of thinking Biblically!!!

Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!!(Acts 17:11)