Monday, October 24, 2016

October 25, 2016

"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." Ephesians 2:14-20

In fourteen days we will go to the polls and choose between two flawed and imperfect candidates. One of them will lead us for the next four years and have a significant impact on our daily lives and future.

But, thank God, we get the privilege of casting a vote and having a voice in the eventual outcome!

That great freedom was purchased for us by the bravery, sacrifice and blood of courageous patriots throughout the generations who loved freedom more than life. Think of them when you cast that ballot on Tuesday, November 8.

What a blessing we have as Americans! Only by the grace of God were we born in this great land. Therefore, it behooves us to be responsible citizens so we can pass the blessings of this great nation to the next generation and continue to be a blessing to other nations around the world.

Those of us who are Christians have an added responsibility to be exemplary citizens of the USA because we are also citizens of another Kingdom - the Kingdom of God. You and I represent that Kingdom in this world.

Our citizenship in that Kingdom was also purchased by the blood of One Who loved our freedom greater than His life. Jesus, the Son of God, became the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. He did all He could to help bring the power and principles of His perfect Kingdom into this imperfect world. And as troubled as our world and our nation is, imagine what it would be like without the influence of Christians and biblical truth.

So, we hold dual-citizenship and we are called to bring as much of the Perfect Kingdom as we can into the fallen kingdom to preserve it and to persuade others to believe in Christ and enter the eternal Kingdom through faith in Christ.

I close with this challenge. Since you will spend the vast majority of your life in the perfect, holy, everlasting Kingdom of God, and since that is influenced by how you live in this perishing world, how should you live today? Which kingdom should you live for? Which values should you cherish? What should you love and who should you live for?

October 24, 2016

"Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’? (Genesis 1:27 He said, ‘That’s why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.’ (Genesis 2:24) They are no longer two, but one. So no one should separate what God has joined together.” Matthew 19:4-6

It's just 15 days away from the most crucial election in my lifetime, perhaps in the history of our nation, I am sharing vital issues to consider when choosing your candidate.

An issue of importance to Christ-followers and of significance to a large segment of Americans in general is the sexual orientation issue.

I plan to support a candidate who defends traditional definitions of gender identities. While I stand prepared to befriend or minister to anyone at anytime anywhere I also stand for the biblical truth regarding gender. I love Jesus and Jesus loves people, all people. He even loves me.

In Chapter Eleven of "Well Versed" Dr. Garlow offers biblical perspective on the sexual orientation and gender identity issue:

"At the ESPYS, Caitlyn Jenner said, 'Trans people deserve something vital; they deserve your respect.' Caitlyn's statement spoke to what the gay and transgender movement are truly after - approval, acceptance, and outright affirmation for their behavior. The radical LGBT cause demands this affirmation, even if that means infringing on other's freedom of thought, religion and speech. They are not looking just for respect. They are demanding that everyone agree with their behavior choices."

I recommend you purchase the book and read the rest of this chapter. He shares a chilling story of a fellow California pastor who has been persecuted through the legal system for his biblical stance on this troubling issue.

To reiterate, we can and will love and respect every person God brings into our area of influence or responsibility. However, we are bound by God's Word to stand for the true definition of gender identity. That is a line we draw in the sand.

I would simply ask transgender people to extend the same courtesy to me and respect my sincere belief. If they truly want to resolve the tension over this controversial issue they can simply return to us the personal respect we pledge to them.

There is one Presidential candidate in this election who will protect Christians from the assault on religious freedom waged by the radical transgender people and there is one who won't.

You must do your research and discover the clear distinction between the candidates so you can vote to protect religious freedom and traditional definitions of gender identity.