486:  What Do I Believe?

486: What Do I Believe?

After all the chaos and upheaval we’ve seen in our country these past few weeks that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of our republic and the church, we have come to a place in our lives where we must ask ourselves the question, What do I believe?

That’s right.  What do I believe?

•   What am I willing to die for?
•   What is the mission and calling of my life?
•   What means the most to me?
•   And what truth will I not compromise on?

Or, as Martin Luther said when commanded to recant his beliefs to save his life, “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.”

So let me ask you, what do you believe about the times in which we live?


What Do I Believe About the Future of America and the Church?

I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you with confidence what I believe about the future.  And it is summed up in seven short points.

•   I believe we are entering the end times.
•   I believe things will get very bad in the US over the next two years.
•   I believe inflation is a certainty.
•   I believe there will be shortages of food, gas, etc.
•   I believe we will face persecution as Christians.
•   I believe there is a great possibility of civil war.
•   And I believe we must prepare spiritually right now!

And since I believe these things, I will once again implore you, as the church, the Bride of Christ, to consider a deeper commitment to Him than ever before.  In 2021 (or until He comes), consider following Him this way:

•  Consider opening your home for Bible study this year.
•  Consider getting together with others for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer.
•  Consider creative ways to teach your children about the “exceeding riches of His grace” in Christ.
•  And, if you don’t feel compelled to “Go” for the gospel, then consider bringing the lost to you (both home and church) to make disciples of them.

Ask yourself the same question:  What do I believe?  And pray we have the faith to see this journey to the end.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

big_lines

big_lines


Our Latest Posts:

After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?
485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost
484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph
483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?
482: How to Experience God

big_lines

 

After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?

After DC, Where Do We Go From Here?

The following is from Samuel Culpeper with Forward Observer.  I believe this accurately sums up what happened, and didn’t happen, today in DC and what we can expect in the days to come.  Read and be informed.  And be prepared. Then ask yourself, where do we go from here?


Austin, Texas
06 January 2021

I’m writing a quick note this afternoon following today’s protest in Washington D.C. and breach of the Capitol building.  I have three initial thoughts on this and other events that occurred today.

1. Back in November I wrote that, presuming a Biden victory, the Right would assume the mantle of political resistance and proto-insurgent activity.  A Biden administration, after all, will be toeing or crossing red lines on the Second Amendment, religious liberty and the First Amendment, taxes, and a host of other Obama-era policies that riled conservatives enough to form a national protest movement.  I surmised that after a summer of violent attacks, riots, and destruction by the Left, conservatives may be feeling some leeway in how they protest.  After all, we were told for most of last year that riots are just the voice of the unheard.  At a minimum, the grassroots conservative protest movement we saw from 2009 to 2016 is coming back under a third Obama administration, and today is the first notch in that belt.  Low-intensity conflict will continue.

2. Also, let’s reflect on one thing that didn’t happen.  Today’s protest disrupted the Electoral College certification process.  Several Republican politicians noted that today’s protest may have ended what would have otherwise been a marathon of debates where Republicans could lay out evidence of voting irregularities, voter fraud, and unconstitutional activities observed during the election.  It would not have flipped the election results, but it would have put on record exactly what happened during the election.  It’s unclear that Republicans will now continue to protest the certification process, but Biden remains virtually certain to be certified as President-elect, regardless.

3. Naturally, some ask where we go from here.  Some Trump supporters are lamenting today’s breach of the Capitol, which resulted in the death of one Trump supporter who was shot by law enforcement, because it now justifies a more aggressive stance on Trumpism after Trump.  When you can accuse entire swathes of the country of committing or supporting domestic terrorism, you create latitude to act against them.  In short, the Trump purges are coming.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), a Black Lives Matter organizer and democratic socialist, has been in Congress for all of three days.  She announced this afternoon a resolution that calls for the expulsion from Congress those Republicans who “incited this domestic terror attack” through their objections to the Electoral College certification.  The resolution calls for the removal of over 100 representatives and 12 senators, all of whom are Trump Republicans.  It’s just a resolution, but it frames the goal.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said she’s drawing up articles of impeachment against President Trump.  Several Democrat governors, members of Congress, and political organizations are now supporting President Trump’s removal under the 25th Amendment.  There will undoubtedly be further support for his removal before he’s likely to leave office in two weeks.

But this is somewhat beside the point, which is that the desire to punish Trump and his supporters will continue long after President Trump is gone.  There are entire databases and excel spreadsheets of Trump donors, supporters, and administration officials likely to be targeted through use of the government, along with political, social, and commercial means.  This will not end the Trump movement, and risks escalation and political violence.

One thing I’m looking at now is the fate of those who trespassed in the Capitol building today.  Their activities and presence were well-documented, and they likely have been or will be identified.  I would note that most of the J20 and George Floyd rioters got off scot-free due to sympathetic district attorneys who dropped charges and judges who threw out cases, but Trump supporters could get the book thrown at them, which will further inflame their movement.

All this means that low-intensity conflict will continue.  Nothing is over and nothing is ending.  The trends that drove conflict for the last decade are still here, even if the political factions are switching sides of the playing field.  It’s going to be a long decade.

Until next time, be well.

Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper

big_lines


Our Latest Posts:

485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost
484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph
483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?
482: How to Experience God
30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today

big_lines

 

485:  How Can We Recover What We Have Lost

485: How Can We Recover What We Have Lost

When we compare the church today with the example given in the book of Acts, we come up short and wanting.  It looks like what life was like in the book of Acts and our church life now are not even related, like they were from different parents, from different planets.  And if you are honest with yourself, you will see how much we have lost and how far we have fallen from the prototype God gave us in His Word.  Which begs the question: How can we recover what we have lost?

What do we know about the early church?  Consider the following:

•  They lived in communities, like one large, extended family.
•  They met in homes or rented facilities.  There was not a million-dollar building on every street corner that sat empty six days a week.
•  Their key distinctive was worship and evangelism.  Or, worship expressed as evangelism.
•  They were led by lay leaders.  You and me.  The guy next door.  There was nothing of the clergy, laity divide.  There were no hired holy-men.  Everyone was obedient to the command of Christ, individually.
•  They were guided by Scriptures.  Not tradition, nor public opinion, nor vote of the congregation.  God and His Word was the final authority.
•  Everyone was a priest.  Each believer had direct access to the throne of God.  Hence, they were all equal in His sight.
•  They had all things in common.  This is probably the hardest concept to get our heads around since we are happy living in a narcissistic world.
•  They were known, both within and outside of the church, as holy men who lived sanctified lives.

Looks a bit different from any church I have ever been a part of.  Can you say the same?


Is it Possible to Recover What We Have Lost?

The early church took the commands of Jesus seriously.  They did not pass them on to someone else or assume they were meant for only those who were “gifted” or “specifically called” to total commitment.  They took responsibility knowing that Jesus’ commands still applied to them, and also to us, some 2,000 years later.  Consider this command:

Matthew 28:18-21 – And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go (not stay) therefore and make disciples of all the nations, (how) baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

As Keith Green once sang, “Jesus commands us to go.  It’s the exception if we stay.”

So as 2021 dawns on us, consider following Him this way:

•  Consider opening your home for Bible study this year.
•  Consider getting together with others for Bible study, fellowship, and prayer.
•  Consider creative ways to teach your children about the “exceeding riches of His grace” in Christ.
•  And, if you don’t feel compelled to “Go” for the gospel, then consider bringing the lost to you (both home and church) to make disciples of them.

Let 2021 be a year of spiritual renewal and revival for us as individuals and as His church.  After all, it has to begin somewhere.  Why not let it begin with you?

The following message is a call to help the church in Recovering What We Have Lost.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

big_lines

big_lines


Our Latest Posts:

484: Some Questions I Want to Ask Joseph
483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?
482: How to Experience God
30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today
481: Praying to the Holy Spirit

big_lines

 

483:  Where Did All Our Leaders Go?

483: Where Did All Our Leaders Go?

As we see the church beginning to bend to the whims of our culture we struggle to ask how we, as the church, have let this happen on our watch?  How did things in our society go so wrong, so fast?  If the church is the light of the world and the salt of the earth, we have gone AWOL and abandoned our posts.  And the reason is simple, we have a crisis of Godly leadership in the church, in our marriages, and in our families.  Where did all our leaders go?

Part of this crisis is found in our assumptions about the church and the expectations of the Christian life.  Consider the assumptions we, as men, constantly make regarding church and our responsibilities to lead our wives and children in the things of the Lord.

We assume:

•  There will always be a church on every street corner so I can freely church-shop without having to make a commitment to any in particular.
  There will always be paid staff to do ministry for me so I won’t have to.
  Praise and worship will always be what I enjoy.  And if not, “I’m outta here, bub!”
  There will always be a preacher/pastor/teacher, my personal hired holy man who will do the heavy lifting for me and my family so I can spend my time doing other things that I enjoy more.
•  There will always be good study materials available for free so I won’t have to spend my money on learning the Bible but can spend it on what I want.
  Church will always be about me.
•  I can come when I want, late or not, no matter.
•  I can do what I want, no matter how it affects others.
•  I can live the type of life I want, sin and all, and if someone has a problem with that I can always leave and go to another church of my choosing.

But these are all just assumptions.  And church life is quite different on the front lines.  Again, where did all our leaders go?


So, Where Did All Our Leaders Go?

Great question.  But before you ask where all our leaders went, you need to ask yourself the most important question as you look in the mirror.  How would you answer these questions:

Do you know enough about the Bible to spiritually lead your wife and children if you had to?
Are you personally growing in your faith in the Lord?
Can your wife and children see your growth?
And if not, why?
Do you judge your success as a man by your spiritual growth and knowledge of Christ?
Or are there other criteria you judge yourself by?
Does your wife feel confident with you to ask you a question she has about the Scripture?
Has she ever done that?
Could you give her the correct answer?
Or were you too busy with other stuff to be “diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, (how) rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)?

And now, the good news.

Would you like to know how to be proficient in “rightly dividing the word of truth?”
Would you like to acquire the skills necessary to understand the Word of God on your own, without having to have someone else explain it to you?
Would you like to have confidence in teaching and explaining His Word accurately and intimately?

If so, this message (and the ones to follow), will give you the tools you need to grow into the man of God you were meant to be.

The following message is Step One on How to Be a Small-Time Pastor.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

big_lines

big_lines


Our Latest Posts:

482: How to Experience God
30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today
481: Praying to the Holy Spirit
480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited
Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

big_lines

 

482:  How to Experience God

482: How to Experience God

One of the best ways to soar above the apostasy that seems to be raising its ugly head in the church today is to have a true, passionate, life-changing experience with the Lord.  No, we’re not talking about memorizing more Scripture or doubling your time in prayer, although those things will help you experience God personally.  And we are not talking about growing in your knowledge of the Lord if that means knowing Him as we know George Washington, all history and facts, impersonal doctrine and theology.  What changes your heart is to experience God in a personal way, where He speaks to you and you recognize His voice.

But how is that done?  How do we experience God?  And why is that even important?

Let’s answer the last question, first, by listing some troubling facts discovered about evangelicals in a recent Barna survey.  This alone should show us that knowledge has replaced experience in the church today.

According to a recent Barna study of professing evangelicals:

48% believe a person who is good enough or does enough good works can earn eternal salvation
44% claim the Bible is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion
44% do not believe that history is the unfolding narrative of God’s reality
43% maintain that when Jesus was on earth, He sinned
43% do not believe that there is a common, God-given purpose to humanity (i.e., to know, love, and serve Him)
42% seek moral guidance primarily from sources other than the Bible
42% do not identify and confess their sins on a daily basis
40% do not believe that human life is sacred
40% accept lying as morally acceptable if it advances personal interests or protects one’s reputation
39% identify the people they always respect as being only those who have the same beliefs as they possess
36% prefer socialism to capitalism
36% fail to seek and pursue God’s will for their life
34% reject the idea of legitimate marriage as one man and one woman
34% argue that abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship
32% do not thank or worship God each day

How is this even possible in a nation that has “In God We Trust” on its currency?


Have You Ever Experienced God?

Most of the church boasts of head knowledge and little experience with the living God.  After all, it is the experience with God that made ordinary men heroes in the Old and New Testaments.  Think about it.

Adam and Eve – Genesis 3
Moses – Exodus 3
Israel – Exodus 19, 20
Elijah – 1 Kings 19
Isaiah – Isaiah
Peter – Matthew 16

And so many more.   Remember,

God, who at (what) various times and (what) in various ways (what) spoke (when) in time past to (whom) the fathers (how) by the prophets, (God) has (when) in these last days (what) spoken to us (how) by His Son, (described as) whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. – Hebrews 1:1-2

God can speak to anyone He wants, at any time, in any place, and for whatever reason.  All we have to do is be ready to listen.  And when He does speak and we experience Him like never before, ah, hang on, for the adventure has just begun.

The following is a study on How to Experience God.

To download the slides to this message, click – HERE

big_lines

big_lines


Our Latest Posts:

30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today
481: Praying to the Holy Spirit
480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited
Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
479: Stages of Commitment to Christ

big_lines

 

30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today

30 Ways to Improve Your Home Security Today

A recent video by Reality Survival shows at least 30 ways you can improve the security of your home as we see lawlessness increase nationwide.  These are good steps to take and I would encourage you to consider each one.  They are summarized as follows:

1.  Set up more lights around your property so it looks like more people are at home.
2.  Set up motion detection lights that will flick on when someone walks on your driveway.
3.  Set up infrared driveway alarms to let you know if somebody is on the property.
4.  Eliminate trees or shrubs that could provide unseen entry into your property.
5.  Plant nasty thorny shrubs up close to the windows and entry points of your home.
6.  Clear the shrubs and bushes away from your front door so burglars can’t hide by your entry points.
7.  Use a good concealment device to hide your spare key well away from your doors.
8.  Leave a vehicle parked out on your front driveway when you are away from your home, which makes it look like somebody is home.
9.  Make sure your remote control garage door opener is stored out of sight in your vehicle.
10.  Have security cameras covering the main entry points into the home.
11.  Put an alarm company sign out front.
12.  Get a good outside watchdog.
13.  Get an inside dog (even a small yappy dog can keep some criminals at bay).
14.  Placed deadbolts on all exterior doors.
15.  Place deadbolts that lock on your garage.
16.  Make sure that all exterior doors are either steel case or at least solid hardwood.
17.  Install a steel door jam on all exterior doors.
18.  Cut a broomstick to fit in the door track of a sliding glass door.
19.  Use a dual functioning security bar and wedge it up against a doorknob.
20.  Place a small bell over the doorway so it rings whenever the door is opened up.
21.  During heightened times of security, place a baby monitor close to the most likely entrance(s).
22.  Keep your vehicle keyless entry fob right next to your bed so you can activate the car alarm if you hear somebody entering the home.
23.  Have an ultra-bright flashlight on your nightstand by your weapon of choice.
24.  Keep a good loud whistle to scare burglars and wake up the family in the event of a home invasion.
25.  Keep a baseball bat on hand in addition to a home defense firearm.
26.  Lower your home phone’s ringer and answering machine volume, because burglars can easily find your home phone number and then call it outside of the door to know if you are home.
27.  Leave a radio and the lights on when you are not home (including outside and inside lights).
28.  Use a light timer to automatically turn your lights on and off when you are not home, and rotate the times so it appears randomly at different places in the house.
29.  Install peepholes in each exterior door.
30.  Close the drapes nightly, including the ones on the street side during the day.

For more information, you can watch the video from Reality Survival below. The summary of the 30 security tips is from Urban Survival.


Our Latest Posts:

481: Praying to the Holy Spirit
480: How to be Filled by the Holy Spirit, Revisited
Should You Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
479: Stages of Commitment to Christ
Faith Must be Tested

big_lines