August 24, 2017
There's a time when the Lord gives us what we want: freedom, autonomy, independence, and to have no authority over our lives but ourselves. That's right. God gives us over to our selfish, carnal attitudes and allows us to experience the consequences of our sins. It's like He says, "Ok, you want to go your own way? Have at it. I'll be here when you come to your senses." It's the story of the prodigal son played out in our lives in real time.
This is called the curse of God's abandonment. It's when He removes His protecting grace from our lives and our nation and let's us see how we like life without Him. And the results are catastrophic.
Samson, after having his hair cut by Delilah, woke up to confront his enemies still believing he had the same strength as before because his God was with him. But that was not the case. He said, “I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him (Judges 16:20). Samson was experiencing the abandonment of God.
God Gave Them Up
In Romans 1 we see three examples of this very act of God's abandonment:
Therefore God also gave them up – Romans 1:24.
For this reason God gave them up – Romans 1:26.
God gave them over – Romans 1:28.
But who are the "them" in these verses? The lost? The unregenerate? Those nations that reject truth and justice? Yes. But if you will study these verses closely you will find the object of God's curse of abandonment is also the church. It includes His wayward believers. It includes you and me.
Does this seem strange to you? Maybe hard to believe? Then I suggest you keep listening and find out the truth for yourself. And remember, "judgment begins at the house of God" (1 Peter 4:17). Are you ready?
The following is a study on the Curse of the Abandonment of God.
August 4, 2014
Romans 12:1-2 speaks of our response to God for His abundant grace and mercy. In essence it asks, "What are we to do with all the goodness You have shown us?" And the answer is simple:
I beseech (or, urge, beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present (what) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And how do we go about doing that?
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (why) that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
How does this fit in with the book of Leviticus? Listen and find out more.
The following is a study on Leviticus 1:1-17.
June 7, 2012
One of the most challenging passages in the entire New Testament is found in the book of Romans, chapter 12. It reads:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
If you think you've got a pretty good understanding of what Paul was saying, think again... and keep listening. You're in for a wild ride.
The following is a study on Romans 12:1-2.
March 6, 2011
Question: If we cannot be saved by keeping the Law, does that mean that we are no longer under any obligation to pay attention to the Law?
Answer: No. When a person is saved or redeemed, there is never a separation between Law and grace. Christian grace does not remove the obligation from us to obey God.
Question: Then, can I receive Jesus as my Savior and not my Lord? Or, can I get saved today and make Him my Lord at a later date?
Answer: Keep listening.
The following is a study on Romans 3:20-26.
March 4, 2011
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
What advantage is there in going to church? What advantage is there in having Christian parents? In going to Christian school, listening to Christian music or only viewing Christian movies?
What does it all matter if none of what we do on the outside brings an eternal change on the inside? This was the same question Paul put to the church in Rome concerning being a Jew and having the traditions and the Law. In fact, Paul's answer might surprise you. He says, "Much indeed!" Really?
Want to know more? Keep listening.
The following is a study on Romans 3:1-8.
March 3, 2011
Many people put their faith and security in things that are... well, insecure at best. The stock market, big government, political parties, their job, AIG or Bernie Madoff.
And, in the world of investments, false security could be costly. But in the real world, false security can totally destroy you. Eternally.
This is what Paul confronts the church in Rome about concerning the Jews but the lesson is also for us today. Do we place our eternal security in (1) our knowledge of the Bible, (2) our Christian heritage, or (3) our religious ceremonies and practices?
Woe to us if we do!
The following is a study on Romans 2:17-29.
February 12, 2011
A simple summary of the first three chapters of Romans could go like this:
Chapter One - lost, sinful pagans are deserving of God's wrath.
Chapter Two - Lost, moral people are deserving of God's judgment.
Chapter Three: Lost, religious people are also deserving of God's judgment.
So where does that leave us?
And if you preach a message assaulting the perceived goodness in lost, moral people... won't you be accused of being judgmental? Yes. But to quote Paul Washer, "People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like Satan."
The following is a study on Romans 2:1-16.
January 31, 2011
In the first chapter of Romans the Lord lays out for mankind, saved and unsaved, the inevitable death spiral of sin. He says that God gives man up to the (1) lusts of their hearts, the (2) vile passions (revealed in the sin of homosexuality) and finally the (3) debasement of their very minds. Pretty sobering stuff.
But why does this teaching have so little effect on the church or the culture at large? Why do we read it and, pretty much, just blow it off? It could be that we are reading the Scriptures dialectically and not didactically which, by the way, is how it was originally written.
Confused? Well, hang with us just a bit longer.
The following is a study on Romans 1:19-23.
January 10, 2011
In 2 Corinthians 15:13 Paul tells us to:
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified" or, quite literally, fail the test."
When is the last time you took this personal inventory of spiritual fruits? When was the last time you checked to make sure your name is written in His book? When did you have that radical transformation that took you from where you were to where you now are? What happened when the Spirit of God took up residence in you?
Don't you think it's way past time for you to look into these things?
The following is a study on Romans 1:18.
January 7, 2011
Modern, contemporary preaching seems to portray Jesus as a friend, a buddy, or a pal - someone we want to "build a relationship" with.
And why not? After all, that's pretty much the way we taught Him via Sunday school flannel graphs and cartoon DVDs. But Jesus is much more than a good friend we joke around with and slap on the back.
The Scriptures present Him as the One who will exercise wrath on unbelieving mankind during the tribulation. In fact, the Scriptures say much about the wrath of God and the wrath of the Lamb.
Want to know more? Then keep listening.
The following is a study on Romans 1:18.