Monday, March 26, 2012

Liar, liar, pants on fire...

So I was reading an article this past Friday, that brought something to my mind that I had never considered before. In the USA, we refer to Jews as a minority, Muslims as a minority, Hindus as a minority, but not Christians. Here in the United States, Christians are considered the majority, so guess what... Christians aren't protected from hate crimes. Christians are also not considered in new legislation that's designed to protect minorities. Makes sense when you think about it like that, right?

Now let's put this all into perspective...

In my soon to be released book, "But is it Biblical?", I detail the fact that MOST people who call themselves "Christian" will find themselves victims of Matthew 7:23. Not because they "did something wrong", but because they didn't do something "right"! God tells us to put Him FIRST in all things (Luke 14:26-33).

So let's start here, Jesus says that there are things you must do in order to be His disciple, they are:
  • To hate your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also
  • Anyone who bears his cross and comes after Him
  • Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has
Do you see what Jesus is saying there? The first thing He's saying, is that you should "hate everything in comparison to how much you love Him", up to AND INCLUDING your own life! Think that's a little harsh? Then maybe you should think about what it says in 1 Corinthians 6:19. Paul says that "your life is not your own" and that "you were bought at a price"! If you don't "feel this way", then you are NOT His disciple.

Next, He's saying that you should "bear your cross and come after Him". What does that MEAN? Does it mean you should be "hung on a cross"? NO! It means that if you've taken the time and cared about what's contained in God's Word, you'd know that there are only 3 places IN ALL OF SCRIPTURE that mention the word "Christian". Twice it's used in passing, the last time, it's used to indicate SUFFERING (1 Peter 4:16). So if you believe that God wants all Christians to be rich, happy, joyous and overflowing at the seams with material possessions, then perhaps it's time to get back to "The Book"... If you're not ready willing and able to "BEAR THAT CROSS" and "come after Him", then you are NOT His disciple.

Finally, Jesus says, "Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has". Well what does that mean? Does it mean to "give away all of your possessions"? Not really. Does it mean that you "shouldn't have any possessions"? No, not really. What Jesus is saying here, is that "you should be WILLING TO give up everything, including family, friends AND your possessions, in order to "bare your cross and come after Him". How will you be able to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature", if you're not willing to leave it all behind? What's wrong, feel that's too much to ask of anyone? Again, if you're not willing to "forsake all", then you're NOT His disciple.

Okay, so now that some of you have had an embolism from what I just wrote, allow me to pose a question. Jesus never mentions "becoming a Christian", He talks about "being His disciple". Instead of concerning yourself with discipleship, you've instead concerned yourself with "taking His name upon yourself and calling yourself a "CHRIST-ian".

So the question I would ask you, is this: If the only inward or outward sign about your relationship with the LIVING GOD is to "use His name in vain", then what kind of disciple are you? Do you find yourself in line with those bullet-points from above? If you do, then that's great, but more than 90% of you reading this will not.

** Please let me be clear... I am NOT talking about "Salvation", which is clearly a FREE GIFT from God (Romans 5:12-21). I'm only speaking about Discipleship and the "claim of being a Christian". **

** Also, let me clear up one more thing... There is nothing you can DO, in order to EARN your way into Heaven. God does not want you to leave your families, friends, jobs, etc. The point of what I'm saying is about having that intense, overwhelming LEADING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, with that desire in your heart to FOLLOW HIM! (Matthew 4:19, Matthew 8:22, Matthew 16:24, Matthew 19:21, Mark 2:14, Mark 10:21, John 1:43, John 10:27, John 12:26 & MORE **

So now the question is, "If I'm not a disciple of Jesus, then what am I?" Now THAT'S a great question!

Allow me to offer you a couple of suggestions, as to what "title" you should give yourself...
  1. Let's say something is BLUE, but it's not "perfectly blue", you'd call it "BLUE-ish". Maybe you should call yourself "CHRIST-ish"?
  2. Let's say that you're traveling NORTH, but not "perfectly north", you'd say you were going in a "NORTH-erly" direction. So maybe calling yourself "CHRIST-erly" is for you?
  3. What if you were trying to describe something that was PINK, but not "purely PINK"? Perhaps you could describe it as "PINK-ey". You might call yourself "CHRIST-ey"?
Are you seeing what I'm trying to tell you here? I'm trying to show you that by calling yourself something that you're not, YOU ARE GIVING CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE A BAD NAME! The only good news here, is that God said that you would be responsible for this! (Luke 21:17)

So are "CHRIST-ians" the majority within the USA? NO WAY. How do I know? Great question!

Not only did Jesus detail who is and isn't a "disciple", but God goes out of His way to help US figure it out, all through the Bible.

Here are a few examples to get you started:


Matthew 7:15-20

Romans 8:8-11
Romans 10:8-13
2 Corinthians 11:3-4
1 Corinthians 11:27-34
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
2 Corinthians 13:5
Galatians 1:6-9
Hebrews 2:1
Hebrews 10:26-27
1 John 2:24
Revelation 3:3

Like I said, these are only a FEW of the HUNDREDS of things that are literally spread out all over the Bible! God gave us every ability to be able to tell who is and who isn't. And it's even more exciting to know, that God even gave us the ability to determine if WE ourselves are disciples or not.

So what do ya think? Are you CHRIST-ey, CHRIST-erly or are you a bit CHRIST-ish? Either way, like I say throughout my discipleship radio series, "90% of the people who think they're Christians are going to be pretty shocked when they stand before God and He tells them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"...

Are you really denying yourself?
Are you really hating yourself?
Are you really ready to leave it all behind?
Are you really putting God first in all things?
Are you really up for being an actual disciple of Jesus?

I'm betting you're probably not, but I'm hoping and praying with every ounce of my being that you are!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Women and Adultery...

Today I came across a great question and decided that I should share this question and teaching with you. I slightly modified the question to better suit the format of my blog:

The Question:

Many men struggle with the issue of pornography, and in general, this struggle is well known. There's a struggle most women face that is not nearly as well known, and it is not nearly as "clear-cut" as to whether or not it is sin. Personally, I tend to think that if it takes away from God's glory or if there is any question as to whether it is right or wrong, it is probably best to abstain altogether. The specific struggle is masturbation (regardless of how it is performed) for sexual pleasure.

I know of a handful of professing Christian women who struggle with masturbation and there doesn't seem to be any clear "Thou shalt not" in the Bible. I believe it is wrong because it is likely to cause difficulty within the marriage union, but I am trying to defend my view to someone else, I'm not entirely sure how to defend it biblically.

This issue has never been addressed outrightly by most Pastors that I know of, and the issue only seems to come up within circles of women.

The Answer:

I am most definitely one of those Pastors who DOES address this issue...

As a matter of fact, this weeks show is on "Marriage & Relationships", so I'm thrilled that you brought up this topic, because now I will make sure to discuss it! (if the direction of the show and the Spirit leads)

As for your Biblical answer, there couldn't be any better of an answer than what Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6!

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

Allow me to restate:

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? Flee sexual immorality. he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

We must always remind ourselves that "all things are lawful"! Paul tells us elsewhere that if it's not a sin to us, then it isn't a sin (See Romans 14:14 & Titus 1:15). The key here, is if you feel that you need to pleasure yourself, what kind of pride are you displaying? (See 1 John 2:16) If you are truly a Christian and you indeed have the indwelling Holy Spirit within you, you would know that it's sinful. Paul hammers this point home in the very next chapter!

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 - But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Paul was no dummy, he knew full well, that the fallen nature that is within each of us has a tendency of getting in the way of our relationship with God (See 1 Corinthians 7:28).

One of the things that bothers me today, is that there are a great many younger women out there (25-40 some-odd years old) that have made a decision NOT TO MARRY, but not for Paul's reasoning (See 1 Corinthians 7:29-33). They decided not to be married, because they either don't want to be told what to do (by a man) or because they're concerned about giving up their personal freedoms in favor of marriage or they're concerned that their husband will somehow abuse them. While these things are certainly valid to be "concerned about", placing these fears above God, makes them more powerful than God. Did you not learn that God has not given us the Spirit of Fear?

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Be lead by the Spirit in all things and God will lead you to whom HE would have you marry! Amen?

But as for women and masturbation, just remember that the "flesh is dead" and you can not perfect it. If you truly have the Holy Spirit within you, then He will change you... I guarantee it! (I did a teaching on "not perfecting the flesh" and it can be found HERE, for those who are interested.)

As you can plainly see, many of the answers to your questions can be found within 2 simple chapters. I would encourage everyone to re-read these chapters and passages and to always be like a Berean when anyone comes to you with Biblical advice!

I hope you find this quick study helpful and I pray that this week's show (which is going to be hugely controversial) goes over beautifully and brings much Glory to God!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Do you really want me to lie to you?

No matter how much you ask, no matter how much you plead, I will not lie to you in order to make you feel better...

The one thing that separates Silverworks Ministries from the other Pastors you've met, seen on TV, heard on the radio or anywhere else, is that our Ministers DO NOT INTERPRET SCRIPTURE. Yes, we know and understand what they teach in Seminary as Hermeneutics; and we here at Silverworks Ministries translate scriptural truth by using ways and words which allow everyone to properly understand and comprehend what God is saying, we do not however use Hermeneutics to interpret it (a.k.a. change it) into what WE want it to say.

While there are certainly some pieces of Scripture (Revelation as an example), that requires a deeper understanding of Scripture in order to comprehend it, 90% of the Bible can be read and understood to mean exactly what it says.

What I would ask (if you really feel that you need to be lied to), is WHY? Why is it that you need to hear about lollipops, rainbows, puppies and daffodils in order to "feel" more "connected" to God? Why do you need to ignore 99% of Scripture in order to feel better about yourself? Do you not know that you as an individual do not matter in the grand scheme of things? Do you not know that it's God that matters above all else?

What I would suggest (if you feel that you need to read inspirational Scripture all the time), is that perhaps you need to spend more time working on discipleship than reading your devotionals. It's through real, bona fide discipleship that you will come to not only understand WHO God is, but also understand who YOU are in Christ!

Many of today's Ministers are misleading the sheep in DROVES! People like Joel Osteen & Joyce Meyer will have you believe that "you can name it and claim it" or that "words are containers for power" or even that "God wants you to be rich with money, cars, every desire of your heart". How can they teach these things? How is it that they can get away with it? They can teach it and get away with it BECAUSE MORE THAN 90% OF THE PEOPLE WHO CALL THEMSELF CHRISTIANS DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.

If you don't have the time to read the Bible, then it's like saying "I don't care about what God has to say". If you don't care about what God has to say, then how is it that you've allowed God's Words to abide in you? You can't let something abide in you if you don't know what it is! Since most Christians do not have an intimate relationship with God, the only Words they'll ever get from Him ARE IN THE BIBLE. And since they don't read it, they'll never know what God has to say, only what people like Osteen, Meyer, Parsley, Copeland, Bell and others have to say on the matter.

While I most certainly am not trying to elevate either myself or any of the other Ministers here, I do want you to try and understand what it is that separates us from everyone else. If you really need to have a 24/7 stream of "happy thoughts" thrown at you, then you're probably not a Christian. If you need to constantly hear about how God "wonderfully and carefully made you", then you're probably not a Christian. If you believe that Jesus is a liberal hippie that doesn't pass judgement on all of mankind and that everyone goes to Heaven, then not only are you probably not a Christian, but you also have absolutely no idea who Jesus is.

We'll be more than happy to teach you. Go to http://www.butisitbiblical.com and listen to our shows. The message we bring to you is designed to get you in sync with God, not to get God in sync with you.