Thursday, May 24, 2012

THEY CALL US HATERS

They Call Us Haters
5/24/2012
 
“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” 1 John 3:13. The idea behind this verse is that we (the Ekklesia of Christ) should not be surprised as we see the world becoming more hateful towards us. They’ve hated Messiah Jesus for the last 2,000 years so of course they’re going to hate His followers. The world of the perishing has no clue as to what Christians are all about. Many of them see us as haters. God tells us to love our neighbor as our self. But our neighbor hates us because we live our life in accordance to God’s will through His word. Then, as His children, we promote a godly lifestyle in the face of all adversity. Sometimes it’s easier to just walk away, or stay away, from those who think us haters, but the fact of the matter is they will never stop hating us until they see the truth for themselves and become a part of the same body of Christ.
 
There are many who hate the followers of Jesus Christ, but one group of folks who continually refer to Christians as haters are homosexuals, as do those who agree with and condone such a lifestyle. Why? Because all true born again Christians are fundamentally opposed to such a lifestyle. Most of us are steadfast and unwavering in our convictions of God’s truth. Taking a stance against homosexuality these days is not very popular. We are called intolerant, religious fanatics, haters that the world would do well to get rid of. The world is growing more hostile toward Messiah Jesus and His followers than ever before. Dark times are approaching.
 
It seems as though the homosexual agenda is to force their lifestyle into the mainstream of thought, that by doing so they can persuade through collusion all humanity to become as they are – homosexual. In order to be fully accepted into society they know that everyone must become homosexual or else there will always remain some who oppose that lifestyle, and any opposition is a conviction of sorts. They don’t want to be convicted so they need to rid the earth of those fanatical people who stand in their way, a way, I might add, that includes full on perversion.
 
All who stand opposed to the homosexual lifestyle are now known worldwide as haters. We are referred to in this manner because we believe in God, and His word is clear, He is diametrically opposed to the homosexual lifestyle. Those who call us haters, for the most part, don’t believe there is a God, thus they see us only as a mean spirited bunch of Neanderthals. Through their unbelief they take God’s glory from Him and place it upon themselves. The judgment of God is on those who reject Him but especially on those who work to change Him into a created thing. They are His creation and yet they see themselves as their own gods. “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things ...Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” Romans 1:23, 25. Their bodies and especially abhorrent sex is their god.
 
“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16. The fact is the cross is offensive to all those who are perishing. Those who refer to Christians as haters have a very stanch, intense desire to see us hurt. It is their goal to abuse us, persecute us, and even destroy us, all just so they are no longer confronted with the truth. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. When people hate Christians they are actually saying they hate God. They hate the children of God even though they don’t believe we have a Father in Heaven.
 
Not all professing Christians have a problem with the homosexual lifestyle. There are many who profess a faith in Christ but who are fully into practicing this ungodly abomination themselves. I would be remiss if I were not to point out the following statement of fact. When a person speaks about their faith, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are professing a faith in Christ. Many simply have faith in their own self-sufficiency. Until a person admits that the Gospel of Christ is true, they are not saved. They may repeat a statement such as “My Christian faith”, but until they say yes to Jesus Christ (from the heart) and become born again they remain as lost as those who hate and reject Christ altogether.
 
The born again are admonished to uphold God’s word as truth. We are to live our lives according to His precepts. God’s word is our authority and we need to embrace His truth. When He says homosexuality is an abomination, we need to stand firm on His word of truth.
 
Remember Jesus’ words, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. Standing against God’s will (His precepts) is a real good indicator that a person doesn’t know Jesus; the Holy Spirit is in every saint but that verse above makes it obvious that God’s Spirit is not in every person who professes to be Christian.
 
Standing contrary to God’s precepts would certainly fall under the category of grieving the Holy Spirit, which we are admonished not to do. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. Those who are sealed with God’s Holy Spirit find it next to impossible to stand contrary to His word. Poking our finger in the eye of God by condoning what He refers to as an abomination is not a good idea. By refusing to believe or follow His word we call Him a liar, another bad idea. These are just two bad ideas in a whole line of bad ideas promoted today by many who profess a faith in Christ.
 
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8.  Ignoring God’s inerrant Word or using the power of line item veto upon His Word whenever something arises that conflicts with our own preconceived ideas is the same as saying God is out of touch and insignificant, especially concerning current cultural trends. This is simply not the attitude of a truly born again in Christ believer, and God’s judgment is upon those who remain in this mindset.
 
Christianity is highly promoted as a tool to be used in political corners as a springboard for helping politicians get elected, or to remain in office. In many cases their Christianity is only a facade. But that facade is removed when it comes to ignoring God’s written word while remaining politically correct. The political climate of today only adds fuel to the flames of fire that promote hatred toward Christians. Representing our God as well as His truth is contrary to our current political system.
 
There is another group of folks who continually refer to Christians as haters; they are those who stand firm on a woman’s right to chose to murder her unborn baby. Murdering babies while they grow in the womb is a deplorable act of selfishness and pure hatred. Condoning this abomination as well as the homosexual lifestyle is akin to standing in full rebellion to our Creator God. In many cases, when a person comes to the realization that they’ve been an accomplice in the murder of their own baby their hearts are broken and only the love of Christ can heal that broken heart. As with all sin, once we truly ask for forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive.
 
Christians who show the love of Christ through the way they live their lives and interact with others, even though those others may hate them and want to destroy them are doing God’s will. If it weren’t for the body of Christ on earth, this planet would have imploded many years ago. I know that many atrocities have been committed in the name of Jesus Christ. But those who murdered and destroyed lives, even though they used His name to justify their actions, were not living or acting according to God’s will and percepts.
 
As saints we are commanded to love our fellow man. The ones who call us haters have nothing to fear from us. We are only here to promote the Gospel of peace. We live for Christ and we love our fellow man and hate should never be a part of the life of a born again believer. The truly born again have one main goal, which is to spread the word of truth. We are to see to it that everyone, whether they call us haters or not, are given a look at the other side, Christ’s side.
 
“For God so loved the world” John 3:16a. Homosexuals and abortionists are nonetheless loved by God, but God will not abide their rejection of Him. We love our neighbor no matter what he/she is into that contradicts or offends God. Loving our neighbor doesn’t mean we want to go live with them, but it does mean that we have a burden on our hearts to see that they learn the truth about Jesus before it’s too late.
 
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10. Instead of letting these folks get to us and anger us let’s show them how to love by loving them no matter what hateful maneuverings they bring against us. Stand firm on God’s precepts without wavering. When we stand firm in our faith in God and on our convictions that His words are true, even the hardest heart and the weakest minds begin to be more receptive to our message. 
 
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12. It won’t be long before Jesus calls us to meet Him in the air, and then to give us our rewards. Hold fast to that fact. The Kingdom of Heaven is nigh at hand for all who know the Lord.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed
 


Friday, May 04, 2012

Error

Hi everyone,
 
I need to change the reference to one verse in my last commentary “The Imminence of the Harpazō” The verse is “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8. The mistake occurred when I placed 2 Thessalonians 4:8 as the reference chapter and verse instead of 2 Timothy. As we all know 2 Thessalonians doesn’t have a forth chapter. This was pointed out to me by a brother who was very polite in explaining my error, of which I was most grateful and thankful. Please excuse my error. I was not attempting to add to the Bible. J
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham

Thursday, May 03, 2012

THE IMMINENCE OF THER HARPAZO

The Imminence of the Harpazō
5/3/2012
                                                       
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25. To many Christians, endlessly attempting to set a date for the Harpazō (Rapture of the saints) has become an obsession. I’m going to do something different; I’m going to explain why the Rapture hasn’t occurred. As Paul makes it plain in the verse above, there will be no Harpazō until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. It’s important to understand that until the exact number of Gentiles makes up the completeness of the Ekklesia (assembly of the called out), we will remain on this planet in these corrupted bodies.
 
Since God alone possesses the knowledge of the timing of the completeness, or fullness, of the Gentile Ekklesia there is nothing more important for us to concern ourselves with than Christ’s command to His followers. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. The emphasis of our Messiah’s command here is not on the word “go”, but on the word “preach”; evangelism is the goal and a major key to bringing about the fullness of the Gentile Ekklesia.
 
Because Christians are so ready for the Harpazō to occur they pick and choose dates, many times to the exclusion of all else hoping that they can move up the date of that awesome event. Sadly, while the followers of Messiah Jesus become more focused on the Rapture, the lost world just keeps on rolling down that wide destructive path that leads to Hell – unabated.
 
Here’s an example of what I mean by “unabated”. In many parts of the U.S. there are special turnouts on highways designed for those big rigs that have lost their brakes. These turnouts are positioned on steep downgrades so the drivers who have their wits about them can guide these big rigs onto one of these special graveled turnouts and avoid the destruction of themselves, their equipment, and others that might be in their path. In the same sense, we, the followers of Messiah Jesus, are positioned along the highways of life armed with the Gospel of hope. We are the special “turnouts” positioned just off that highway which leads to destruction. We were designated by God to station ourselves alongside those who have embarked on that avenue of no return which leads to Hell. If we aren’t there for those who are lost, that highway is left wide open without any barriers for those folks to avoid destruction (damnation).  
 
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18. As Paul explained the Rapture of the Ekklesia to the Thessalonians, he wanted them to find comfort in knowing that that awesome event would occur soon. Can you imagine what would have happened if all Christians stopped witnessing back in Paul’s day because of their belief in the nearness of the Rapture? Some did just that and he had to correct them to get them back into the evangelistic mode.
 
Over the years since I’ve turned my life over to Messiah Jesus I’ve seen many predictions by folks who attempt to set dates regarding the coming Rapture, both public and subtly laid between the lines of commentaries. Whether their date setting is intentional or not, they are all contrived predictions and nothing more than deceptions. This all leads to more conjecture on the part of the saints who are now growing more and more impatient as they anticipate the Rapture. When it happens it happens, ‘til then we’ve got work to do.
 
It would be best for the Ekklesia of Christ to saddle themselves with the business of the Father, diligently seeking to do His will instead of continually pondering an event that will occur when we least expect it. There are many dead people walking around who need to know Jesus, or tomorrow they may wake in Hell. Way too many Christians spend their time seeking the time frame for the Rapture or bicker with each other about whether or not the Rapture is Biblical. While they are distracted by such things they ignore their responsibility to be the light of the world.
 
The lost of this world are consumed with the day and have no idea about the lateness of the hour, nor do they care. This foolish attitude of the lost discourages many saints and too often those who were excited about evangelism turn to other things to console themselves because of so much rejection of Christ’s message. Too many saints turn from evangelism to other focuses with the attitude that someone else will do the evangelism and the witnessing as they pursue more noble tasks. Perhaps their message is rejected because they lack biblical knowledge, they are unprepared scripturally.
 
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Thessalonians 4:8. We should all long for Messiah’s appearing, but notice Paul isn’t advocating sitting in our homes staring out the window at the sky in anticipation of that great event. Jesus gave us a job to do and it is the most important job associated with our walk with Him. It is not our job to go out and drag people into worship halls simply to fill the pews, but to enlighten everyone we can of the truth of the Gospel of Christ. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:19-20a. There’s a lot more to this verse than meets the eye. We are not only to preach the Gospel of Christ (His death burial and resurrection), but we are to baptize those who believe and to teach them the scriptures. Not an easy task for those who don’t study their Bible.
 
I believe God looks on His children who are apathetic towards the command He gave them (the preaching His Gospel) as selfish. Believe me, I’m as anxious for the Harpazō as anyone, but I must be about my Father’s business right up ‘til the end. Since we are to be raptured at a point when the fullness of Gentiles is complete, would it not be much more advantages and productive to be out there on the battle front preaching the Gospel instead of incessantly dreaming of the Rapture? We should be helping the Holy Spirit all we can to facilitate that fullness of the Gentiles mentioned above in anticipation of the last Gentile coming in.
 
Think of a sailing vessel that needs a specific number of hands to man the various positions associated with piloting that ship. They can’t sail until the exact number of sailors needed has come aboard. That’s what Paul alludes to when he says “until the fulness of the gentiles comes in”. The Rapture isn’t going to occur until that last sailor (gentile) comes on board. 
 
There is no doubt in my mind that this world is very close to its finale. Living in the prophesied last days is exciting as well as encouraging – some see it as frightening. Every day we watch events unfold that point to the soon return of our Messiah Jesus and there should be a sense of urgency as to the lateness of the hour weighing paramount on our minds. A very small amount of discernment is all that is necessary these days as we watch the current state of world affairs becoming more and more unstable. This is enough for us to know that Jesus is coming soon.
 
The Rapture of the Ekklesia must occur before Jesus’ Second Advent, and that fact proposes great expectation in the minds of those who have become adept at understanding prophecy. Being obsessed with the coming rapture to the exclusion of evangelism is the same as turning our backs on our Messiah’s command. Just what kind of ambassadors for Jesus are we when we disregard His command to preach the Gospel to all nations? If you’ve helped lead someone to the Lord, praise God, but don’t stop there. After all, there are many more lost folks wandering aimlessly down that destructive highway.
 
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;” Revelation 7:9. There will be many ways in which God will send His Gospel message to the lost after the Rapture and many will come to a saving faith in Christ during that time. But there will be a gap between the Rapture and the proclaiming of the Gospel, and those who die during that gap will most likely die in unbelief. 
 
Therefore it is imperative that we, the Ekklesia of Christ, preach the Gospel to everyone we can NOW. No matter how much we might disagree with another person for their choice of lifestyle or the abuse they’ve laid on us personally, we do not have the luxury to pick and choose who we witness to. Tell them all exactly what Jesus did for them, and plead with them if necessary, that their hearts might be softened and they might see the truth before it is too late. The Holy Spirit is hard at work convicting these folks; we too, should work hard at doing our part.
 
There is a verse that is used quite often by many commentators as they write about the last days. It’s invariably used as a closure to their articles. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. Actually, if you study the context of the entire chapter Jesus is warning the Jews of the impending destruction coming at the end of the Tribulation week. The Ekklesia of Messiah Jesus won’t be here to lift up their heads as we will have already departed planet earth via the Rapture. The insistence on the use of this verse, as a gesture to calm the tide of apprehension, has given rise to a form of apathy. The problem is that many have become so focused on the Rapture event that they have ceased all preaching of the Gospel.
 
I’m always thrilled when some of my readership tells me they’ve passed my commentaries on to others, whether it be to those on their email list or they’ve printed them off and mailed them to others. Some of you have even asked if it is alright with me that you do this. Please, pass them on to as many as you can, they are Holy Spirit inspired words and all glory is given to God. If you have no other way to contact the outside world with the truth, then a great way to preach is to send these commentaries on to everyone you can. If I can help from here let me know, I love answering questions about my Lord and Savior. 
 
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. That’s the question at the heart of the matter of evangelism. Do you love Him? Do you love Him enough to keep His commandments? Prophecy is exciting and a great study, and there is much to learn. We’ve studied and learned of the Harpazō and that it is imminent, which means it can occur at any moment. There is nothing standing in the way of that awesome event except possibly that one person God has been putting on your heart to seek and speak to. Go get ‘em.
 
God bless you all,
 
Ron Graham
All scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed