June 27, 2015

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  Romans 1:26-27

This reminder is from God, not me.  If anyone doesn't like it, they need to take that up with Him.  He designed male and female, and assigned their purposes and functions.  He doesn't change.  What I can't understand is how anyone can read this passage and then say that God is okay with all of this?  It's idolatry to replace God's words with our own "preferred" version.  It's just like making ourselves into God by putting our ways above His.  Who is in charge here?  Man or God?  Do these advisors and committees think that they're going to be in charge in heaven as well?  Is God going to put it to a vote or appoint men to "fix" the Bible?  Did He not mean what He said and He needs us to tell Him which parts to take out and which ones to edit?  (The answer is NO.)

What about the followers?  Are we following Jesus or men?  I can tell you Who I'm following and I can tell you why I'm telling you.  I want a clear conscience that I didn't approve of or participate in rebellion against Him.  He warned us that if we stood up for Him, we would not be popular but that is the price to be paid to be on the side of good and not evil.  This issue will not stop here.  This is just another step along the way.  People will look back some day and wonder how things got the way they are and wish they had realized where it was heading in time to change it.  If you truly believe, then stand up for God.  If you have been misled, then repent.

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19

To clarify, this particular sin is no worse than other sins.  The problem is that people want to make it into a special sin, exempt from God's instructions to turn from it.  There is no hope whatsoever of living a God-pleasing life without being filled with the Holy Spirit and yielding to His guidance and influence over our lives.  Some sins in particular involve the pleasure centers of the brain and so they become addictive.  God is the only hope of overcoming them.  Again, any and all arguments are against God, not me or others who stand with Him.

God loves everyone and hates sin.  That is not a bad thing that we should be afraid to tell--it's great news!!  There is no one that He won't forgive and wash clean.

I hope that it comes across that my comments are made out of love for the deceived, not malice. My concern is that people who have been told certain sins are specially exempt from God's instructions to turn from sin have been lied to. God is holy.  He hates sin, but He provides a way out--no matter what temptation we face. It is disturbing to see the direction many churches are going in accepting sin along with sinners--no change required or even encouraged. That is not regeneration by the Holy Spirit and it is not "born again." It is actually easier to go along with the flow and call it "love" to do so, but souls are at stake here.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38

For we too were once foolish, disobedient, misled, enslaved to various passions and desires, spending our lives in evil and envy, hateful and hating one another. But “when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Titus 3:4-6

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. Romans 8:9

So by these verses, you can see the process involved in being born again.  First you believe that Jesus the Son of God, died for your sins and rose from the dead, then you repent of (turn away from) your sins, then you are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit.  At that point, you are born again, helped daily by the Holy Spirit to resist temptation and to change your life to a way that pleases God.  

So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.  You also lived your lives in this way at one time, when you used to live among them.  But now, put off all such things as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the One who created it.  Colossians 3:5-10 

You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.  Therefore, having laid aside falsehood, each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.   Ephesians 4:22-25

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is *freedom.  2 Corinthians 3:17

* My note: This freedom is from the bondage of sin and its consequence of eternal death and damnation for those who are not saved and washed clean by the blood of Jesus, but instead are staying in their sin.  Where the Spirit is, there is the power of God to overcome.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

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