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God Is In Control?

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How many times have you heard the cliché “God is in control”? Songs have been written about it including the like-titled Christian hit by Twila Paris that won a 1995 Dove Award. Another one called “You Are in Control” I heard many times at the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida.  Some Christians believe the Lord orchestrates every detail of a person’s life. Calvinists like to quote Romans 8:29-30, which talk about people being “predestined.” It would behoove Calvinists to read the previous verse. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Notice this promise doesn’t apply to everyone but to those who love God . Man has free will and can choose to follow his own devices (Jeremiah 18:12). Therefore, he is responsible for his actions and cannot use the old Flip Wilson excuse “the devil made me do it.” Numerous Scriptures talk about self-control. Galatians 5:23 lists that as

Amen

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Last Sunday, a Methodist pastor turned politician said he was “honored” to deliver the opening prayer for the 117th Congress. Sadly, Emanuel Cleaver dishonored the true living God. While he did recite the Priestly Blessing in Numbers 6:24-26, Cleaver closed his prayer “…in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and the god of many other faiths. Amen and A-woman.” Didn’t he learn in seminary “amen” has nothing to do with gender? Amen is a word of Hebrew origin that means, “so be it” or “let it be.” It’s something many Christians say when they agree with what a preacher says. “Amen” is sung at the end of some traditional hymns. It’s also a word found at the end of every book in the New Testament except for Acts, James, and 3 John. Some ministers preach that “amen” is not the closing word in the Book of Acts because God wants His people to continue ministering like the early apostles. I learned from a Christian software program of other significant uses of “amen.” In Deuteronomy 27:

Make a Move

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As a young Christian, I read many books by Kenneth E. Hagin and his son Kenneth Hagin, Jr. One of the latter was titled “It’s Your Move”, which compares our walk with the Lord to a chess game. When we make a move, then He makes a move. Dad Hagin often said, “It is easier to steer a car when it is moving than when it is parked.” I’ve seen this truth manifest many times during my missionary travels. Back in 2003, I flew to Berlin, Germany. After staying in a prayer house for nearly three weeks, two women invited the caretaker and me to go on a road trip with them to Nuremberg. I was reluctant to step out until one of the women said she knew a hotel owner that would provide a room for two nights. Upon our arrival in Nuremberg, we attended a church service. The first worship song I heard was based on Romans 8:1-2. I had read those same verses out loud in the car moments before. I also heard a minister say, “God moves with those who move.” That assured me I did the right thing. The next ni

Touch Not God’s Anointed

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When I’m sharing the gospel with people, an objection that occasionally comes up is bad behavior by certain ministers. Unfortunately, a few “men of the cloth” have done despicable deeds such as committing adultery or abusing children. But non-Christians cannot use those incidents as excuses to avoid their need for salvation. When they stand before the Lord Jesus Christ, He won’t examine other people’s lives but only their own. Years ago, I knew a woman who claimed our then-pastor was involved in an immoral relationship. Believing her story, I brought up the issue with an associate pastor at our church. The resulting friction made me realize I didn’t rightly handle the situation. 1 Timothy 5:19 says,  “Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.”   In court trials, defendants are supposed to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Numerous people are called to the witness stand to give testimony before the jury reaches a verdict. Why then do s

More Than a Prophet

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Muslims believe Jesus was only a prophet . The New Oxford American Dictionary defines prophet as “a person regarded as an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God.” A prophet sent from God will tell the truth regardless of the hearer receiving it. So if a true prophet doesn’t lie, let’s examine some of Jesus’ words from the Bible (which was written 500 years before the Koran). First, Jesus said in John 14:6, “ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Notice Jesus said He was THE truth…not a truth. He also said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Followers of Islam argue that Allah (their word for God) had no son. Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of God in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son , that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He later said in

Was Jesus Poor?

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While walking around downtown San Antonio last Sunday, I noticed this “homeless Jesus” statue in front of a church. I didn’t examine the accompanying plaque but assumed it was inspired by Matthew 8:20,  “…the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  Later, I learned it quoted Matthew 25:40 (ESV),  “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”   The Lord certainly wants us to be compassionate to the less fortunate. That doesn’t mean He wants us living like them. One thing that repels sinners from Christianity is religious folk promoting the idea that Jesus was poor. A few celebrities have more sense than some church-going people. Pamela Anderson told one interviewer, “I don't know anybody…that would have people gambling for His underwear. That was some fine stuff He wore.” Jesus had to be prosperous because the Roman soldiers who crucified Him gambled for His expensive undergarments. Anderson went on to say, “The poor

Should Christians Vaccinate?

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This year’s coronavirus pandemic has stirred up debates within the body of Christ regarding churches meeting in person and the moral aspects of wearing masks . Another issue that has come up is vaccinations. Some Christians have talked of getting one for COVID-19 when that becomes available. Others like myself balk at the idea. The financial elite are using this “plandemic” to push a socialist agenda and reduce the world’s population. (For more information on this, I recommend reading “ The Phantom Virus ” by Rodney Howard-Browne and Paul L. Williams.) The medical practice of vaccinating has been around for just over two centuries. People in the Bible lived long lives without them. Nevertheless, there are vaccinations necessary in today’s society. I received a few as a boy before starting school. I also recall getting shots in 1985 while being inducted into the U. S. Army. Vaccinations are required to enter selected countries. If I were to go to India, for example, I would need to ma