Jun 29, 2015

Here's a Benefit of The Gay Marriage Ruling

(Credit: Ted Eytan, Flickr Creative Commons)

By: Bryan Schrank

One of the benefits from the Supreme Courts ruling is clear for Christians in this country. 

The lines have been drawn in the sand. 

Either you are for Biblical Marriage, or you are for the Satanic redefinition of marriage, it's really that simple. This issue will further separate the wheat from the tares and the sheep from the goats. We've already seen many mainline denominational churches apostatize on this issue. These include:

-Evangelical Lutheran Churches 
-Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 
-Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

These denominations represent millions of Americans. The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in America (7 million), is also close to caving on this issue. If you are a member of one of these denominations, prayerfully pull your family out and find a Biblical church rooted and grounded in scripture. 

Why is marriage such a primary issue? Because marriage is a picture of Christ's relationship with His Bride, the Church. This was an institution God gave mankind even before the fall, in the garden of Eden. Marriage has many beautiful benefits, including the procreation of Godly seed, and this is also why God hates divorce (read Malachi 2:15-16). 

If you are a professing Christian, and if you applaud and approve homosexuality, you have denied the faith and you are a heretic. I understand this is "aggressive language," but I must speak the truth. You are in danger of bringing upon yourself swifter judgment and damnation in hell, as God pours out His wrath upon you for all of eternity because you have rejected His Word. 

Not only that, but if you intend to encourage your children to engage in homosexuality you are an enemy of your children and you actually hate them. Yes, I said hate them. The homosexual lifestyle is a dangerous lifestyle full of drugs & alcohol, promiscuous sex, STD's abuse, suicide, and life expectancy rates considerably lower (8-20 years for males) than the rest of the general population. 

But there is hope! Repent, which means to be sorry for your sin and to hate and forsake it, because it's displeasing to God, and throw yourself upon the mercies of Jesus Christ! Place your faith and trust in Him alone for the salvation of your soul! Jesus Christ is such a mighty Savior! He can set you free from sin and wash you white as snow! Surrender to His Lordship and He will make you a "new creation" and His Holy Spirit will give you the grace and ability to "put to death the deeds of the flesh" (Colossians 3:5) and to "live in the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 8:11). 

Saints, I beseech you, train up you children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Teach them the scriptures. Pray with them daily. Sing worship songs with them. Turn your home into a little church and discipleship school. Let your home be as Charles Spurgeon described, "When home is ruled according to God's Word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element." Here are some other quotes on family discipleship that will help you "fan the flame" of discipleship in your home. 

“They that pray in the family do well; they that pray and read the Scriptures do better; but they that pray, and read, and sing do best of all.”  -Matthew Henry 

“Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church. -Jonathan Edwards 

"If we want to bring up a godly family, who shall be a seed to serve God when are heads are under the clods of the valley, let us seek to train them up in the fear of God by meeting together as a family for worship." -Charles Spurgeon 

Jun 28, 2015

The Supreme Court Just Legalized Gay Marriage


Today, I believe, is one of the darkest days in American History. The United States Supreme Court (the same institution which gave us abortion on demand) has voted to affirm and "constitutionally accept" so-called gay marriage. This day, in my opinion, is darker than Pearl Harbor, 9-11, and Gettysburg all combined, because multi-millions of Americans will be swept away into hell by the LGBTQ lies and indoctrination! This is only the beginning. Before we know it, forced indoctrination will occur in the public schools, the workforce, and even in American churches. Those American Churches which stay true to Biblical Marriage will be shut down, pastors will be jailed, and their congregations will be maligned and treated in the same light as the KKK in the coming years. 

If you haven't noticed, God is giving our nation over to the "liberal politics" which are demonically controlled, and most elected politicians are just mouthpieces of Satan "doing what is right in their own eyes." It will be just a matter of time before lawlessness runs rampant in all streets and neighborhoods across America, as Americans embrace moral anarchy and continue to shake their fists at God in rebellion. Romans 1 is the outline. God's judgement on America is not coming, God's judgement is here. This is why He's giving our nation over to wickedness and removing His common grace from our children, government and land. God is the one who placed Obama in the White House, don't forget that. This is all according to His plan. God's judgment is here and this is only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the "craziness" we are about to see in our nation. This is what happens when the "salt loses its saltiness, it's good for nothing but to be thrown down and trodden under the feet of wicked men" (Matthew 5:13). 

Brothers and Sisters, now is not the time to pursue the American Dream. Now, is not the time to keep up with the Joneses and to focus so much time and energy on the stock market and retirement. So many of us have become so distracted by the American Dream and the pursuit of "happiness" that we have become "so worldly minded we are of no heavenly good." So, what is a Christian parent to do as these days become increasingly darker? 

1. Focus on your family. Remember, if God has called you to be married and a parent, that's your number one "ministry." Wash your spouse in the Word, discipline and instruct your children in the Lord, pray with your family, sing hymns of praise, and talk about the Bible with your family. Build your family upon the "rock of Jesus Christ" so when the rains fall, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the Rock. (Matthew 7:25) 

2. Attend a Biblical Church. This is so important. These "mega-church" seeker churches will not survive the coming waves of persecution against Biblical Christianity in this country (partly because they're filled with so many false converts and it will no longer be culturally acceptable and advantageous to identify as a Christian in this nation). If you are attending a church for the "relevant worship music" or because your children "love the slides and games during children's church," know this, these are not legitimate reasons to attend church. Besides, before we know it these types of churches will be gone. Attend a church that preaches the Bible, preaches against sin, practices church discipline, and is not afraid to stand strong against culture and ungodliness.

3. Strive to Homeschool your children. Homosexuality will soon be taught, encouraged and applauded in our public school institutions. I suspect the number of people who identify at LGBTQ will increase drastically in the coming years, due to this type of indoctrination. In the coming years there will be a "Gay Pride Celebration Month" celebrated in schools and they will recognize gay rights leaders like they do Martin Luther King in the civil rights movement. Now, I know it won't be long before our government shuts down homeschooling, I believe Christian homeschool parents will be the first Christians to go to jail in droves in the next 20 years or so, so you need to take advantage of it NOW! If you're unable to homeschool, make sure you spend adequate amounts of time with your children actively involved in what their learning and helping them to "unlearn" the indoctrination they will be force fed by the wicked government schools. 

4. Evangelize, pray, fast, and study the Word. The ONLY way hearts will be changed is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Call sinners to repentance, warn them of the judgement to come, tell them that Christ is mighty to save and will transform their lives. Spend time in God's Word, study to show yourself approved, seek the Lord in prayer, and rediscover the lost Christian practice of fasting before the Lord. Discipline yourself to Godliness in all that you do. Remember, the #1 gift you can give your children and spouse is a holy God-honoring life, that's what they truly need from you! 

Saints, there is hope. Jesus Christ. He is our foundation and cornerstone. He is our Rock of defense. He is our refuge. You need to remember this when the world "persecutes you for righteousness sake," when they mock and ridicule you. Persecution is actually for our good, and we can rejoice like the Apostles did when they suffered for the sake of Jesus Christ! Maranatha! 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

May 4, 2015

What Influence Do You Have on Your Children?

What Influence Do You Have on Your Children?

by John MacArthur

You can’t save your children. You can raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, guard them from the sinful influences and temptations of the world, and cocoon them in the fellowship of others who know and love God. But in the end, as we saw last time, their repentance and faith cannot be inherited or manufactured—salvation is God’s work, not yours. As a parent, your influence can only go so far.

The Wrong Kind of Influence

Having said that, I want to stress that sometimes—I should say often—parents are partly to blame for their wayward children’s rebellion. And it has been my observation over the years that parents are generally more to blame for wayward kids than society, peers, or any of the other influences parents tend to blame. I occasionally encounter parents who have violated nearly every biblical principle of parenting, who nonetheless come to the pastor seeking some kind of absolution from the responsibility for their children’s defiance. They want verbal assurance that they are in no way to blame; someone else is.

Yet God Himself has given the responsibility for raising children to parents—not to schoolteachers, peers, child-care workers, or other people outside the family—and therefore it is wrong for parents to attempt to unload that responsibility or shift the blame when things go wrong.

Parents must involve themselves in their children’s lives enough to insure that no other influence takes precedence. To parents who complain that their kids’ failures are the kids’ friends’ fault, my inevitable reply is that ultimately the parents themselves must be to blame, because they were the ones who allowed peers to have more input into their kids’ lives than they have themselves.

Blame and Accountability

Some parents will no doubt cynically roll their eyes at that, and insist that it is unrealistic in this day and age to expect parents to influence their kids more than peers, the culture, television, schoolteachers, and all the other factors that vie for a controlling interest in the typical child’s life.

Still, a moment’s reflection will reveal why parents in our culture have less influence on their kids than peer groups do: Most parents have simply abdicated the parental role. They have turned their kids over to their peers. They have invested less time in teaching their kids than the amount of time they have permitted the kids to watch television. They have permitted much of—if not all—their children’s spiritual, moral, and ethical instruction to come from television, movies, music, and other children. Even in the best cases, parents rely too much on school teachers, Sunday-school teachers, and youth leaders—all outside the purview of the family. Parents must realize that character is neither inbred by genetics nor picked up by osmosis. Children are taught to be what they become. If they have become something other than what the parents hoped for, it is usually because they have simply learned from those who were there to teach them in their parents’ absence.

In other words, the parents, not the kids—and not even the peer groups—are ultimately to blame for the parents’ diminishing influence in our culture. Whenever outside influences shape a child’s character more than the parents, the parents have failed in their duties. It is as simple as that.

Christian parents today desperately need to own this simple principle. Before the throne of God we will be held accountable if we have turned our children over to other influences that shape their character in ungodly ways. God has placed in our hands the responsibility of bringing our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and we will give account to God for our stewardship of this great gift. If others have more influence on our children than we, we are culpable, not excusable, on those grounds.

Your Full-Time Job

God has made parenting a full-time responsibility. There are no coffee breaks from our parental duties. This principle was even built into the law at Sinai. God prefaced His instructions to the Israelites with this solemn charge:

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)

That is God’s own definition of the parents’ task. It means parenting is a full-time assignment in every sense of the expression. No phase of life is exempt. Not one hour of the day is excluded. There is no time-out for the parent who wants to be faithful to this calling.

Some parents think they can compartmentalize their child’s life, assign a set number of hours per week to spend on parenting, and then fulfill their duties as parents by making sure the hours they put into the task are “quality time.” That whole philosophy is contrary to the spirit of Deuteronomy 6:7, and it is a sure way to guarantee that outside influences will have more influence than the parents in shaping the child’s character.

Parental Neglect

The history of Old Testament Israel is an object lesson about the dangers of neglecting this vital principle. Israel failed miserably when it came to the duty of teaching their children about God’s righteousness. Consider this telling verse about the generation of Israelites who first entered the Promised Land. And note that this was merely one generation after God had first given the law at Sinai:

The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord which He had done for Israel. . . . All that generation also were gathered to their fathers and there arose another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. (Judges 2:7, 10)

In other words, that whole generation of Israelites failed in their responsibility. They neglected to teach their children about the things God had done for Israel. And as a consequence, the next generation turned away from the Lord en masse:

Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked the Lord to anger. So they forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreth. (vv. 11–13)

The children turned to the evil gods of the Canaanites. Their environment influenced them more than their parents did because the parents abdicated the parental role. The result was idolatry, chaos, and destruction. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25).

The same pattern was repeated again and again throughout Israel’s history. Whenever a generation of parents neglected to plant the seeds that would provide shade trees for subsequent generations, the children suffered the spiritual famine that inevitably followed.

The same thing is still occurring to this day. Right now the outlook for the next generation is as bleak as it has ever been. And there will be no turnaround unless this generation of Christian parents resumes the full-time work of planting spiritual shade trees.

Proper Parenting and Personal Priorities

For many parents, the first step toward getting back on track must be a fresh commitment to the things of God for themselves. If our own priorities in life are askew, there’s no hope of teaching our children what they need to learn.

Parents, take inventory in your own hearts. Do you thirst for God as the deer pants after the water? Or is your own life sending your children a message of hypocrisy and spiritual indifference? Is your own commitment to Christ what you hope to see in your children’s lives? Is your obedience to His Word the same kind of submission you long to see from your own kids?

Those are crucial questions each parent must face if we really want to be successful parents and good role models for our children. For parents to be derelict in their own spiritual lives is tantamount to cutting down all the shade trees for the next generation in their family.

Christian parents—be encouraged. You have a responsibility before God to use your influence with your children for His glory and their good. But the weight of their eternity is not on your shoulders—remember they’re not born morally neutral. God will use whatever means He chooses to draw His people to Himself. Pray He will use you in the lives of your children, and trust that He is faithful even through your failures.

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