There is a great burden on my heart today for a particular group of people. I meet them all the time….they are everywhere. They come from widely varied walks of life, from the affluent to the homeless. They may be young or old, from this country or another. But they have this in common — they believe they are saved, but they are not. “You shouldn’t judge people”, you may say. I appeal to the Scriptures which tell us that we can be known by our fruit. A saved life produces God-glorifying fruit. A saved life hates sin. Many people look back to the day that they said those “magic words” we call the sinner’s prayer as their hope for eternal life. However there has been no lasting change in their lives. They still love their sin. Yet because they said the “magic words”, they believe that God is satisfied and they’ll meet up with Him in heaven someday….but they have no love for Him here; no desire for Him; no yearning for holiness or hunger for His presence. Salvation is not merely heaven. Salvation is God Himself. The reality of HIM as the all-encompassing priority, focus and joy of our life.

So many have been deceived. While joyfully indulging in whatever makes them happy at the moment no matter what God has said about it, they demonstrate who actually is their Lord —- themselves. I’m not just talking about the drunkards, the addicts, and the prostitutes, but the good, moral, law-abiding citizens who fill up their lives with everything but God. Maybe He gets a Sunday service every now and then. Maybe a daily prayer or devotional. But HE IS GOD and He deserves every moment of every day, not just the crumbs that are left over after we’ve had our fill.

If you think you’re good enough for heaven, you are wrong. No one is good enough. If you think your religious activities will earn you heaven, you are wrong. We will never be saved by works. But what we can never do and never earn, God offers freely through the giving up of His Son to death on the cross for our sin. He paid the penalty that we deserved to pay that we might have His righteousness, which we could never deserve. There is no other way of salvation apart from Jesus Christ. NONE.

If people only knew Jesus…..really knew Him, they would gladly forsake all sin and everything else of this world to walk with Him. On that day when they step into eternity, so many are going to be surprised to hear those fearful words, “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.” There will be no remedy. There will be no hope.

My heart aches for you. And the heart of God pleads for you to consider your ways, turn from your sin and be saved.

Live After Five Outreach – October 14, 2016

I saw him sitting on the curb reading one of our gospel tracts so I walked over to talk to him. Jerry was an older man who looked like he had lived a rough life. He talked about God in a generic kind of way that I’ve heard far too often. He’s thankful for the good in his life and attributes it to God watching over him. He’s not born again but believes that he is a good person and feels sure that God is satisfied with that. He believes that the Bible is God’s word….that is, until he doesn’t like what it says. By his own admission Jerry is given to regular drunkenness. In his mind, he doesn’t consider it to be a problem to God. When I pointed Jerry to the verses that spoke about drunkenness as a sin, he began to dismiss the Bible as a book written by men. And all because it touched the sin that he loved. As I talked to Jerry about the grace of God through Jesus Christ…about forgiveness of sin and deliverance from its power, he sat on that curb and cried. Yet he was unwilling to part with that one sin. I made sure he understood the consequences of that decision. He thanked me for talking to him and was wiping away another tear as I walked away. Please pray for Jerry to receive the love of the truth and be saved.

It shouldn’t end that way

Yesterday I had jury duty. After they had given us all our instructions, we just had to sit there and wait a few hours for them to choose who would stay and who would be sent home. So while we waited, they played a movie on the 2 large screens in the room. It was called “Taking Chance.” Normally I would have gone into the quiet room to read, but for whatever reason I just stayed in my seat as the movie began. The basic storyline was as follows: The main character was a Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps who worked an office job, but he seemed to feel some stirrings of guilt because was not a part of the very conflict that he had been trained for. He volunteered to escort the remains of a Marine who was killed in combat to the family for burial. It seemed as though on the whole trip he was having an awakening as he considered the young man who was killed in battle as he was sitting safely in a cubicle.

Any my heart was almost exploding because it was like watching a parable of the church….many safe and comfortable on the sidelines while others are risking everything on the battlefield. But there are these moments of clarity when we see…..eternal realities…..God’s purposes….and ourselves somewhere on the outside. It is a moment of truth. A valley of decision. A choice must be made.

I anticipated the ending. He would leave everything and enlist for a tour of duty in Iraq. That was the only reasonable ending. But it wasn’t the ending. He arrived home to his nice house, hugged his wife and kids and shut the door. And the movie was over.

And everything in me screamed “NO…it’s not supposed to end like that!!”

People of God…..please….don’t let that be our ending. We have been trained and equipped for battle and everyone is needed for the fight. It is a moment of truth. A valley of decision. A choice must be made.