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Friday, June 29, 2012


Abraham Lincoln once said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Dewayne Wise this week proved Lincoln true. Wise, the left fielder for the New York Yankees, was playing June 26th against the Cleveland Indians. A foul ball was hit down the left field line just into the stands in the 7th inning with 2 outs. Wise dove into the stands to catch the ball and didn't make the catch. Wise then proceeded to act like he caught the ball and ran to the dugout with his glove closed. The  umpire not knowing Wise didn't catch the ball called it an out. The umpire was fooled on this play. Human beings can be fooled but God can never be fooled.

Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 found this out the hard way. They attempted to fool God and it cost them their lives. Paul said, "Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." (Galatians 6:6-8). God is not fooled. God knows how we act and what we do. We will eventually reap what we sow. There will be no fooling God.

How do we live our lives? Do we live our lives pretending to be a Christian, hoping to fool God? Do we live our lives thinking that as long as we are good people God will understand?

Remember: There is no fooling God. "God is not mocked" and on judgement day God will judge us all based upon the way we lived our lives on this earth (Revelation 20:12). We will reap what we sow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Burning Books

On June 12, 2012, author Ray Bradbury passed away. In one of the novels that he penned and published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury shows how television destroys reading literature. There are others who say that his book shows the danger of censorship. Regardless, Fahrenheit 451 shows us a society that has determined books have no value and has even made it the job of firemen to burn houses with books. The novel even points out that the Bible is included as a book with no value.

Although I hope our society never becomes a society that fails to recognize the importance of literature, our world is slowly becoming a society that fails to recognize the importance of the Bible.

Bradbury tells us in his novel that the censorship started with individuals ripping a page or a paragraph from books because the people disagreed with what was said. This continued until the value of literature was completely lost.

How many times in our society do we unwittingly do as those in Bradbury's book did and devalue the Bible?

How many times do we tell ourselves that certain sections of scripture don't apply to us?

How many times do we falsely tell ourselves that if we "rip" out or don't follow one section that it will be okay?

In Jeremiah 36:23 the Bible tells us, "As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot."

Jehoiakim cut the word of God into pieces because he didn't like what it said. Notice what God's response was in Jeremiah 36:29-30.

29 And concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah you shall say, 'Thus says the LORD, You have burned this scroll, saying, "Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and will cut off from it man and beast?" 30 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: He shall have none to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat by day and the frost by night.

God took what Jehoiakim did very seriously. Do you devalue the word of God and try to censor it? Do you try to pick and choose what you are going to obey?

I encourage all to obey the "whole counsel of God" that we have recorded for us in God's inspired word.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Supreme Court

This week a lot of attention will be focused upon the Supreme Court. The court is set to make decisions on whether several issues are constitutional. They are going to decide the constitutionality of the health care law, Arizona’s immigration law, whether or not a juvenile can be sentenced to life without parole, and whether or not it is constitutional for someone to lie about military honors. Many of these cases have garnered lots of attention over the past several months as individuals have argued both sides. This week, as the court releases its decisions to these controversial cases, the rulings will be final. There will be no appeal, no do-overs; the court will have made its decision. Regardless of how you feel about these laws. the Supreme Court’s decision will be final; it is the highest court in our land.

The Bible tells us, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books" (Revelations 20:12). As John saw his vision of Heaven, he saw that there was going to be a Day of Judgment for all. He saw that God was going to judge all by what they had done. There are several things I think would be prudent for us to notice.

1) God is the Supreme Judge. Once God makes his decision, it will be final. There will be no second chances at the final judgment, there will be no appeals. God’s decision will be final.

2) God will judge by the Supreme Law. As the United States Supreme Court decides whether or not a law is constitutional, they do so by comparing it to the law of the land. God will judge based on the Supreme Law that he has given to us, the Bible.

3) All will face the Supreme Judge. No one will escape facing God and giving account for his or her actions (Romans 14:12). This judgment will occur for everyone. We will all face death and judgment. The only question is when? And what will our judgment be? Although in many ways we can’t control when we will face death, we can control what our judgment will be by determining if our actions are “constitutional”, if our actions are following what God’s law tells us to do.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Dangers of Misinterpreting the Word of God

Mark Wolford, a Pentecostal pastor, died during a Pentecostal ritual Sunday (5/27/12) in West Virginia.  Reports tell us that 30 minutes into the service Wolford passed around a poisonous timber rattlesnake. The rattlesnake bit him on the thigh and then eventually as the situation worsened Wolford was taken to the hospital where he passed away. Interestingly enough, Wolford's father had passed away earlier in his life at a similar service from a snake bite.

Many times religious snake handlers point to Mark 16:17-18 which says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and if they drink any poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." Although this was true in the first century we no longer need or have spiritual gifts today; we have the word of God. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 tells us, "Love never ends. As for prophecies they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away." The only thing that the perfect could be referring to in the context of these verses is the word of God. Now that we have the word of God, spiritual gifts have ceased.

I believe there is a major lesson that we can learn from what happened to Wolford. Misinterpreting the word of God can be deadly. If Wolford had interpreted the word of God correctly he would have known that spiritual gifts had ceased and in all likelihood he would still be alive. If he had interpreted the word of God correctly he would have realized after his father's death that picking up snakes can be harmful. He would have known that even though Mark 16 says "it will not hurt them" it can hurt today because spiritual gifts have ceased.

If we fail to interpret the word of God correctly it can be deadly to us as well. Although depending on what is misinterpreted we may not lose our physical life. Misinterpreting the word of God can cause something much worse to happen; losing our soul.

Think about it. If we fail to interpret what the Bible says about salvation. We won't be saved. If we fail to live the Christian lives that God has shown us how to live; we won't be faithful unto death, and thus receive the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).

I challenge all of us to study the word of God diligently so we know how to live our lives for God. I encourage all to think about the dangers that can come spiritually from misinterpreting scripture. After all misinterpretation of scripture can prove to be deadly!