Sermon May 22
Hath God Said?

At the very beginning of Mankind, Satan implemented a nearly flawless strategy when he introduced the not-so-subtle question into humanity’s psyche. And here has resulted nothing but despair and death and disaster for the human family ever since.

What was that strategy? You can read the rest of this message here: inhimonly.blogspot.com/2022/05

breitbart.com/.../denver-archb

The more I hear about this news, the more depressed I become. Can you imagine the apostles Peter or Paul waiting YEARS before condemning what pro-abortion Catholic politicians promote? Waiting YEARS before they finally put out instructions to their local priests, telling them for forbid communion to pro-abort politicians until they get themselves right with God?

No, I am not happy with what the San Francisco bishop did. Nor am I happy that the bishop from Denver applauded what he did. I am GRIEVED that our Catholic bishops have proven themselves cowards who waited YEARS to do what the early church had no trouble doing immediately.

I commend to all of our Catholic bishops – since they might not even know about the history – I commend to them St Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. Part of that letter addresses the guy in their congregation who was sleeping with his father’s wife. (1 Corinthians 5).

Paul DEMANDED he be excommunicated. And the church did so.

Then what was the result? They should read the second chapter of his second letter wherein we discover that BECAUSE the church there DID NOT WAIT to excommunicate the guy, he actually repented and returned to the Lord.

So, the Archbishop finally stepped up to the proverbial plate. How nice. NOW, what about all those in the pews who openly support and vote for politicians who support abortion?.

Are you disappointed that God has not yet answered some of your prayers? You’re in good company. It’s been 2000 years, and the Father has STILL not answered the prayer of the Savior. Here is a portion of His prayer in John 17:

“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. . . . 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (vv. 11, 20-21)

Did you catch that? “That they may be one” – meaning, “ALL who call on Jesus as Savior.” Catholic and Protestant. Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Presbyterian, and so forth. That we all be one – so that the world will know that Jesus is Lord.

Two thousand years later, and we have yet to see unity in His Body.

This is not to suggest the Father has ignored His Son, nor is it to suggest the Father will not ultimately answer in the affirmative His prayer. It simply means the Lord Jesus’ request has its fulfillment yet in the future. And this is an important point: Delay does not necessarily mean denial.

In similar fashion, that some of our prayers have not yet seen fulfillment does not necessarily mean denial. St. John tells us: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

As we pray in accordance with His will, we can be confident that such prayers WILL BE fulfilled sometime in the future and according to the Father’s timetable.

So, are you disappointed, still waiting for the fulfillment of your prayers? You’re in good company. Jesus is still waiting for the fulfillment of His prayer for our unity.

Christian, be encouraged. Delay does not necessarily mean denial.

I control the monster. Frenchie doesn’t think I do, but I do.

Whenever I break out our Black and Decker electric sweeper, our 12-month-old Bichon breaks the sound-barrier running from room to room in fear to get away from the thing.

I tell him there’s nothing to be afraid of. But he’ll have none of it. I can turn the thing on and off at will. But does that convince my puppy of my power over the monster? No, it does not.

When it happened again last evening, I thought of the text in 1 Peter 5: “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith.”

Christian, listen! Satan may rage and prowl about – but he has no authority or power over anyone who is a child of God through faithful obedience to Jesus Christ.

God controls that monster. He can turn the beast on and off at will, if He chooses to do so. And certainly, Satan can do NOTHING without the express consent of Jesus, his Creator.

So please, hear well the Scripture: "[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17).

Child of God, do not fear the Monster. God controls his every movement. At times, you might not think that true, but it IS true – at ALL times. Satan is a toothless and clawless creature as he rages against the child of God.

My brother and sister in Christ – stand your ground. Put on the full armor of God and through Christ alone, ignore his growls. He cannot hurt you. God controls the monster.

The Lord of Creation had just finished washing the disciples’ feet. In that time, only the lowest of servants washed the feet of others. And then He told them:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats my bread has lifted up his heel against me.” (John 13:16ff)

Now look at verse 21: “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.”

The word used here for ‘troubled’ means to be ‘distressed, disquieted, to make restless.’

It’s vital to understand that Jesus was not troubled or distressed for Himself, knowing what Judas was about to do. No. Jesus was troubled for Judas, for what Judas was about to do. The traitor was about to seal his own fate by betraying his Lord. He was about to walk away from the One with whom he had lived and served for the past three years. He was about to walk away from light and into darkness.

A few verses later, the very sad scripture tells us: “After receiving the morsel [Judas] went out immediately; and it was night.”

We should not wonder that the Lord of Love became disquieted and troubled and distressed in His spirit. He knew what Judas was about to do to himself.

But this is not only about Judas, is it? It’s a lesson for you and for me and for all who breathe. We must never think Jesus is not also distressed and disquieted and troubled for US when we turn from Him, when we chose darkness over light, bitter for sweet, judgment over mercy.

Judas did not have to go through with his plan. He had free will, just as you and I have free will. We can turn around. We can go back home; And doing so begins on our knees in repentance before Him who would stoop – even now – to wash our feet.

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear it: We are all God's children.

I can give a pass to those who hardly know the book of 2 Chronicles from 2 Corinthians. But when it comes to pastors and priests and deacons and bishops and ‘Christian’ authors, I begin to lose my sanctification.

Such people are either ignorant of scriptural truth or they choose to ignore scriptural truth because it offends them. And yet, it was Jesus himself who said to the arrogant and obstinate sinners (in this case, CLERGY), “You are of your father, the devil” (John 8:44). A few verses later, He adds: “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” (verse 47)

In the parable of the Tares and Wheat, Jesus calls counterfeit Christians, “sons of the evil one [Satan]” (see Matthew 13:36-42).
And John writes: “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God. . .” (1 John 3:10)

There are other passages just as clear – but I hope you get the point.

So how is it that some clergy – even those of higher rank in church hierarchy – how is that they teach what is so clearly contrary to Scripture? Why do they so glibly deceive their sheep when they should instead be strengthening their sheep with Truth?

Why are they lying to their congregations – unless to demonstrate that they themselves are children of the devil.

There is only ONE way to be a child of God. It is to receive Christ as our only savior and obediently follow His commandments. John says it this way: "He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

Message for May 15, 2022
Valiant Warrior. Yes, You!

Much of the book of Judges is concurrent with the events in the book of Joshua. The period of the Judges were dark days for God’s chosen people. Although they should have expected the darkness. They should have expected the devastation. They should have expected God to remove His protection over them because He PROMISED He would do so if they turned away from His clear commandments.

You can read the rest of this message here:
inhimonly.blogspot.com/2022/05

Part two of two

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Christian! Be sober in all things. Fulfill the work God has privileged you to do. And to you who have drifted away from Christ: Head back to where you belong! And start now – this moment – with your prayer of repentance.

Seek the praise that comes from the only One who matters – in this life and in the one to come.

Part one of two

"How can you believe, when you accept glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" (John 5:44)

Jesus spoke these words to the religious leaders of His day. No doubt, He speaks these same words to not only today’s religious leaders, but also those in the pews AND those who no longer – for whatever reason – darken the doors of any church.

How can it be that so many of us are so busy trying to please each other, to get our daily ration of pats on the back, that we no longer think about (or even care about) pleasing God by obedience to His commandments concerning lifestyle and morality?

But hasn’t it always been that way? Ever since Eden when Satan seduced Eve into trying to become her own ‘god’ – the devil has returned again and again to the same playbook, to the same strategy.

Have YOU also fallen for his seduction? In my walk with Christ, I know I have stumbled more than a time or two trying to please others and rationalizing to myself my sin.

Christian! We all need to do better. Every day, we can do better. We must do better. And PLEASE, make no mistake about this: What the Holy Spirit through St. Paul said to Timothy, God also speaks to you and to me – regardless of our titles or our roles or our positions in the ‘church.’ If you are a true follower of Christ, and not a counterfeit one, then this message from God through Paul to Timothy is ALSO for you and for me:

Continued to part two

The first 39 chapters, for the most part, speak of Israel’s history just before the Babylonian/Assyrian exile and captivity in the 8th century BC. Israel’s ongoing and flagrant disobedience to God’s laws was about to bring disaster upon them. But there is an abrupt change in the tone after chapter 39. Chapter 40 begins with this promise: “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. 2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, that her iniquity has been removed, that she has received of the LORD’S hand
double for all her sins.”

In other words, God wants His people to know that while He WILL judge and execute wrath against sin – in His wrath He WILL remember mercy.

You can read the rest of this message on my blog:
inhimonly.blogspot.com/2022/05

I do not understand God. At all. Even when I think I know what He is doing, I do not know what He is doing.

I know from scripture AND from personal experience of His incomprehensible patience. But as I read the ongoing reports of the modern pagans, of Satan’s children, blocking entrance to Catholic Churches, defacing churches, threatening priests and those who wish to worship God – and God seems so silent.

I memorized years ago: “Oh, that Thou wouldst rend the heavens and come down; that the mountains might quack at Your presence.” (Isaiah 64:1) And I pray it to Him along with them – Lord, How Long will you let these pagans, these worshippers of Moloch who demanded child sacrifice – how long will it be before you open the ground and swallow them alive like Korah and his wicked company? How long will it be before you silence these sons and daughters of Satan so that the world will know there IS a God in heaven whose patience has reached its limit?

Lord, like your prophet Habakkuk, I do not understand. I guess I will just have to wait for your time and your place and your response. But it is hard to do so when such evil is being unleashed and unloosed against YOUR children.

Maranatha, Lord Jesus. Come quickly.
breitbart.com/politics/2022/05

Keep on Keeping On

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

When we are young, it’s easier (although certainly not easy) to ‘keep the faith,’ to keep marching on for Jesus. We have the energy and the health to handle setbacks and disappointments and detours. But as we age, keeping that faith sometimes becomes more difficult. We tire nearly as soon as we get out of bed in the morning. Often, we deal with chronic illness, or financial difficulties, or a variety family stressors. And it is not as easy to bounce back from setbacks and disappointments and detours that come to all of us at many stages of our lives.

You can read the rest of my message here: inhimonly.blogspot.com/2022/04

I never thought I would one day realize this is not only cute but it’s also true. The plaque will hang this in a prominent place in our home.

Our Calvary

Jesus said to His disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:22-23)

Jesus knew He was on His way to the cross. And He knew what that meant.

I put down my Bible and contemplated that text a while. Follow Jesus. Even if . . . even if . . . even if following Jesus means following Him to our own Calvary.

I think that’s a very easy thing to do, to follow Him to our own Calvary when we do not have a Calvary. When we sit in the comfort and safety of our home, our family, our community, it’s easy to say we will follow Him wherever He leads.

But what if that comfort and safety fall apart? What if illness becomes painful and chronic. Or, wealth evaporates. Or, death takes not just one family member, but multiple members at the same time. Or, the diagnosis is terminal. Or, dementia slowly ravages the mind of a spouse. Or, long time and close friends reject us because of our faith. Or, if . . ..

The different kinds of Calvary hills are limitless, but our response to our own Calvary is limited to only one of two choices: Continue to take up our cross every day and follow Him to our Calvary;

Or we can turn away from our cross.

I think if anyone thinks living the Christian life is easy, that person is probably not living the Christian life. And I will go one step further. If anyone thinks living the Christian life without the direct intervention and aid of the Holy Spirit, then that person probably does not know what living the Christian life is all about.

Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of Your love. Make us an increasingly pure reflection of our Savior. Embolden us to follow our Jesus wherever He leads. Amen.

Zealous for His house.

Scripture talks about two temples. One was built with stone and mortar and timber. Solomon’s Temple, and the rebuilt Temple in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah after the Babylonian captivity are the Temples built with stone and mortar and timber.

The other temple spoken of in Scripture is built with flesh and blood and bone. Here is what the Holy Spirit tells us through St. Paul’s pen: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

You can read the rest of this message on my blog: inhimonly.blogspot.com/2022/04

Do you know how sometimes you can see the moon in the morning? That’s what happened to me today. As I’m walking Frenchie around the house at 8 o’clock – I got a late start to my day – as I’m walking him around the house to do his business, I looked up and saw the moon in the northern sky.

And I stopped. And I looked at it in unexpected awe. And the words of the psalmist suddenly flowed across my mind: “O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens! . . . When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”

I stopped praying and just stood quietly. I couldn’t take my eyes off the moon.

“Yes,” I whispered to myself, “When I consider the heavens, the moon and the stars which You have made, surely, what is man? What are the nations, what are the peoples of the nations, what are the individual men and women who make up the nations?”

And then the Holy Spirit suddenly broke into my thoughts. “So, Richard, why are you worried about what’s happening in the world? Is not the One who made the sun and the moon and the stars the same One who has power and authority and dominion over all the nations, over all of its people, and over each individual man and woman? Fear not, Richard. I have redeemed you. And I have called you by name. You are mine.”

Wow. What a message to my heart.

And so, Christian, consider doing this the next time you see the moon: If you can, stop what you’re doing and stare at it for a while. And think about the heavens, the moon and the stars which our God has made. And fear not. He has also redeemed YOU. He has also called YOU by name.

YOU are his.

God is Pro-Choice

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days . . ." (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

It should surprise no one that God is pro-choice. He didn't create us to render robotic obedience to Him. If we couldn't disobey, then our obedience would be meaningless. Which is why, because He desires humanity to willingly return His love, He made a strategic, yet risky decision at Creation.

He let us choose whom we will serve, whom we will love, and whom we will obey.

Choices, of course, carry consequences.

The consequence for a lifestyle of obedience to Him results in complete, through and through, forgiveness for the sins we bring Him in repentance. He offers us to intimately know Him in this life, and in the one which lasts forever.

The consequence for a lifestyle of disobedience results in inevitable and eternal judgment for the sins we have committed, and in painful and unending separation from Him in the life which lasts forever.

Which is why He pleads with us: Choose wisely.

More Than We Want to Pay

My father could not stay out of other women’s beds. I was four when my mother finally had enough of his lies and broken promises and serial adultery. She filed for divorce and sent him packing. I still remember sitting on the black couch when mom told me that he was not coming home anymore. That was 68 years ago.

I was in my early thirties when I learned that he had died in his sleep lying next to his fourth wife. The saddest part of this story is that unless he repented of his godlessness before he died, he is in hell right now, as I type these words. And he will remain in agony for eternity. He also knows, and will never ever be able to forget, that he chose his destiny for a few moments of lustful pleasure.

Albert is an example to me. He ought to be an example to everyone reading this. The wages of sin is eternal death. And those who serve themselves will forever experience that agonizingly and unending conscious death.

It is only those who have turned their hearts to Messiah Jesus, it is only those who have repented of their sins and sought God’s forgiveness, it is only those who will experience eternal life.

Sin will take us where we do not want to go. Sin will keep us longer than we want to stay. And sin will cost us more than we want to pay.

That is why the Holy Spirit says to me – and to you – be aware of how you live your life.

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