COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"Erwin Lutzer" Tagged Sermons

THE FUTURE IS UP TO YOU

Before we go into our biblical text, let me quote Chris Hedges, a war correspondent who witnessed plenty of power struggles:
“Not having to make moral choices frees you from a great deal of anxiety. It frees you from responsibility. And it assures that you always be wrapped in the embrace of the powerful as long as, of course, you will do or dance to he the tune of powers play… When you do what is right, you often have to understand that you are not going to be lauded and praised for it. Making a moral decision always entails risks, certainly to one’s career and to one’s standing in the community.” Chris Hedges

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free- to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within a nation wants him to think, feel, and act… To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.” Aldous Huxley “A Brave New World Revisited”

“So, you see, that the world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not themselves behind the scenes.” Benjamin Disraeli (1801-1884)

“The world is divided into three kinds of people – a very small group that MAKES THINGS HAPPEN, a somewhat larger group that WATCHES THINGS HAPPEN, and a great multitude that NEVER KNOWS WHAT HAS HAPPENED.” Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947)

Pastor Erwin Lutzer in his book subtitled “A defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance” writes this hypothetical story:
“In A.D. 303, the Emperor Diocletian has issued a new order, requiring all people to attend the religious/political ceremony designed to unify the nation and revive lagging patriotism within the empire. Specifically, this ceremony involves burning a bit of incense and saying simply: CAESAR IS LORD. Those who do this receive a seal of approval; those who don’t might well be put to death.
Christians discussed the issue and what their response should be. The answer is not as obvious as it seems. For one thing, they actually would not have to stop worshiping the true God; after they have sworn their allegiance to Caesar as Lord, they are free to privately worship whatever god they wish. Every religion is tolerated; freedom to choose ones own god is generally accepted. Indeed, there is richness in diversity.
Second, this was not simply a religious decision, but a political one. Caesar was convinced that it was not possible to be a good citizen without affirming his lordship. The argument was that if one had allegiance to a god above Caesar he could not be trusted in time of national emergency, a war, for instance.
Third, this requirement was but once a year. Even if one did not tell a lie, forgiveness through Christ was readily available. Why not argue, as some did, “For a moment my mouth belongs to the Emperor, though my heart always belongs to Christ.”
Rome was cruel. Many converted pagans who were now in the church had observed firsthand the brutality of the Roman citizens.
If Christ were seen as one option among many, Christians could give allegiance to other expressions of the divine. Why not find common ground, the central unity of all religions.
So the choice, strictly speaking, was not whether the Christians should worship Christ or Caesar; it was whether they would worship Christ AND Caesar.”

Edward Gibbon in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” stated:
“All religions were regarded by the people as EQUALLY TRUE, by the philosophers as EQUALLY FALSE, and by the politicians as EQUALLY USEFUL.”

GENUINE SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

“Living by grace instead of by works means you are free from the performance treadmill. It means God has already given you an “A” when you deserved an “F.” He has already given you a full day’s pay even though you may have worked for only one hour. It means you don’t have to perform certain spiritual disciplines to earn God’s approval. Jesus Christ has already done that for you. You are loved and accepted by God through the merit of Jesus, and you are blessed by God through the merit of Jesus. Nothing you ever do will cause Him to love you any more or any less. He loves you strictly by His grace given to you through Jesus.” Jerry Bridges (Transforming Grace, 73)

Evangelist Morgan Campbell in his commentary on Galatians writes:
“One teaching that is totally absent from all the cults is the gospel of the grace of God. No one is taught in the cults that he can be saved from eternal damnation by simply placing his faith in Jesus Christ. It is always belief in Jesus Christ and “do this” or “follow that”. All cults attach something to the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith…..It is never taught that faith in Christ alone will save anyone.”

“Paul is concerned here to show that no one can be educated into the kingdom of God. Paul had not, he says, learned his gospel in the presumed Christian catechetical schools of Jerusalem. Where then had he learned it? It had come directly through a revelation, “unveiling”, of Jesus Christ, he says. On the road to Damascus, Paul had received a transforming revelation. The source of all revelation is God; and the content of this revelation was Christ.” Alan Cole, Commentary on Galatians

Carl Teichrib in his research book “GAME OF GODS” writes:
In California the Black Panthers waved guns and demanded “justice and peace. The US Supreme Court said “no” to public prayer in school. America’s fabric was torn by domestic assassinations, and the “political truth” of the JFK inquiry undermined public confidence. Paul Ehrlich was selling population control: “We can no longer afford merely to treat the symptoms of the cancer of population growth; the cancer itself must be cut out.” “Hip Marxism” – the New Left – promised can end to oppression; a bright future of social quality and cultural transformation. Radical student movements made the evening news.
As the Esalen Institute a “religion without religion” was being birthed, combining psychedelics, yoga, sex, psychology and liberal theology into a new humanistic spirituality – adjustable to one’s felt needs. In San Francisco, Anton LaVey formalized a pragmatic, anti-Christian religion – the Church of Satan – “a temple of glorious indulgence” that would “recapture man’s mind and carnal desires as objects of celebration.” To LaVey, his Church was the real counter-culture. It certainly embodied the spirit of the age.
Closer to Los Angeles, members of Elysium were shedding their clothes “for the well-being and advancement of the public.” In Laurel Canyon, a new music scene was churning out anthems for America’s Cultural Revolution; leaving a trail of personal wreckage. Colorado’s Drop City became an artistic vortex for “a new society in which the individual may fill both his spiritual and physical needs while doing just what he wants. On a farm in New York, 400,000 people danced and frolicked in the mud and rain. Woodstock, “An Aquarian Exposition,” celebrated “love and peace.”
Dreams for sexual freedom, social and political utopia, and a world imagining itself into a new reality flittered in the minds of millions…
America wandered in a maze of moral dilemmas…
Mistrust and anger marked the domestic spirit. Mass demonstrations tore at the nation’s fabric. Troops were not just being sent to the jungles of Asia, they were marching on the streets of Detroit, Chicago, and Washington D.C. At Kent State university, members of the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four students. America wandered in a daze of lost meaning.” Carl Teichrib “Game of Gods”

Do You Understand The World You Live In?

For Judas, truth did not matter at all, money did. He loved money more than he loved Jesus. Judas believed that the world he lived in offered him more than what Jesus had to offer. He did not know nor did he understand the world he was living in. That’s not an excuse for his action, it is simply an honest evaluation of what influenced this man when making life-decision. The world we live in evaluates life-styles not based upon if it’s true or false, but rather by asking IS IT FAIR? How do you live? The World we live in has replaced Truth with fairness. The World we live in has replaced Truth with mysticism. Jesus prayed for unity among his true followers. Not between his followers and those who have replaced truth with fairness or truth with mysticism.