Friday, June 26, 2015

The Christians real battle

I wonder sometimes about the thinking process of Christians in our day and age. Some are all excited about a new law allowing homosexuals to marry, some are enraged that their country could come to this place. Do the Christians living in this world today really think that the laws of this government, or any government in this world will be conformed to the law of God? This nation is one of a few that has enjoyed much of its history governed by laws that reflect the moral judgements of God based on His word the Bible. But the reality is that the world has been and will be on a downward trend until the Christians are removed completely and the remaining people will rule without God’s righteousness as a standard.

I do not feel that this is the battle that we as Christians should be fighting anyway. It is the same with all other social issues that wander through our lawmaking process, and then ultimately are interpreted by the Supreme Court. That said, I still believe my Bible when it says that homosexuality is wrong and is not what he designed.

No, the battle that the Christian faces in this world is not one of flesh and blood but one that is spiritual. Eventually the laws and morals of this country and other countries will affect the life and safety of the Christian, as it has in so many other lands and peoples where believers are persecuted. But for us as well as for them, our battle still is not fought in the legislative branch of our government but against the Gates of Hell. We attack the gates of Hell when we show individuals who need to be saved from their sin that the Lord Jesus Christ died for them. To show them the love of God in our lives as well as in our words.

Yes, we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have a battle cry, and it is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Should we hate the homosexual? No! They are just like all humans that are born into this world. We are all sinners in the eyes of God, We all were born in sin and in need of a savior.

When someone trusts in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, whatever sin had characterized their life before, we are NOT to bend the word of God for their lifestyle as a means of being tolerant but we are to teach the word to them. We are to let God convict them of his perfect will for their life. It is my belief that if someone trusts the Lord for salvation and walks with the Lord and reads and obeys the Word of God, they will allow God to change them. Then the sins of their past lives will fall away as the new man that the Lord created them to be emerges and shines to a lost world.

I certainly hope your light is shining today.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Time and Eternity

Man was created as an eternal creature. Due to the sin of the first man, Adam, man’s ability has changed from eternal to finite, though his nature remains eternal.

It is helpful to define both Time and Eternity to fully understand this concept. First Time is finite. It is measured in linear terms, such as beginning, end and length. Whereas Eternity cannot be measured because there is no definable beginning or end, and thereby no measurable length.

God who created us is Eternal. From the creation story, we read that we were created in his image. This would indicate that we look like him. Well, from the description we have of God, he is invisible, we know the image is not based on looks, but must be on nature, that being eternal. What this means for us as humans, and as individuals, is that we will never cease to exist. More on this in a moment.

When God created this world, he created time as well, so that Time can be described as a created thing. Knowing this and that time by definition has a beginning and an end, we know that we only have so much time left before the world we know and live in will cease to exist in linear form. It was created in such a way that we cannot go back to an earlier point in time, except to examine recorded history. We cannot move any faster forward in time than the mechanisms put in place to define time for us. Per Genesis chapter 1 and verse 16 where we are told that he made the Sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night, and he included the stars as points of reference in times passing.

So we have a place where this created thing we call Time exists, it is called the Universe. Pretty big too. Scientist give us measurements of this place, some more accurate now with the aid of newer technology, but most really just a guess based on what we can measure. Nonetheless, it does have a measurement, and has a beginning and an end. The question is now, where is Eternity? But first back to our limited abilities now as sin born creatures, where our comprehension of time itself is difficult at best and confusing at worst. Also we are completely incapable to find a definable measure to apply to Eternity. We are told that the Universe is at least 10 billion light years in diameter, but who can really define in practical terms what a light year is? If I am told something is a mile in diameter, I can pretty much comprehend that, but tell me it is a billion miles in diameter, and my gray matter becomes gray goo. So 10 billion light years? Though I know that science has a definition of this measure, and with study and reason, it can be understood, it will never be understood practically by the natural human. Now to spend a lot of time trying to understand the depths of this can cause your face to look like that of Einstein’s, not so pretty, but in the end getting on a USSR stamp is not too shabby. The time it takes getting from a USSR postal unit to a US postal unit will be the same to all observers regardless of their relative motion… Oh goodness, gray goo again.

So our world that we live on, in this journey through time, can be measured in two ways, one is linear, and the other is polar. The world spins in the direction of the linear, That is from East to West, thus moving us through the length of time allotted to us. My brother believes that if you speed toward the west you will travel slower, and to the east you will travel faster. But I have learned that the trip from the east coast to the west coast of the United States takes the same amount of time either way, no matter how fast I travel. I guess it all is relative? The polar measurement takes us from North to South, and is a point to point length that changes direction once you past one of the points. If you travel the linear either direction, like from East to West, you will always travel toward the west, the direction never changes. Gives us a really cool duel analogy of us as finite beings with an eternal nature. Now if you take a linear view of east to west, and not a global view, then you can imagine if you started at any point and started traveling in one direction, you would never get to the opposite point. This kind of helps to make sense of the word of God when he said that he has cast our sins as far as the East is from the West. If we continue to use the analogy of the spin of this earth as moving us forward in time, then if East marks the beginning of time and West the end, we could assume from the statement concerning our sins that God has dealt with every sin, from every age, from every human, from the start of time to the end. This give fresh hope concerning our salvation, that it is Eternal in nature, not affected by any actions of failure or sin even after we are saved. But what must our Lord Jesus Christ have suffered, if on the cross he bare all sins for all humans, for all times?

Now picture in your mind two things, first is Time as a created thing, even though it is revealed to us in the form of the universe that is 10 billion light years in diameter, think about it in linear form, like a box, but in it from beginning to end, the all between are the events that has made up our lives as humans, and those events that have not yet taken place. You will have to imagine that you have the ability to look down on it as a THING so your imagination can consider this. Then, Secondly, picture Eternity as everything else, no boundaries, no discernible shape, no measurable length. This is how I believe God sees Time, including this world we live in. So it is not hard to imagine as you look at this picture, how God could know our future. It does not so much have to be that he set it all in stone either, but allowed his creation move forward with free will. Humans choosing how they live, where they go, how they act, and what they believe. He could certainly look ahead (which we as finite creatures cannot do) and he can see what choices we made. We can even use conjecture to see how when we pray for someone, like asking God to send someone to a friend or loved one with the gospel, how this may alter the outcome of the future for that person? But something else I thought of with this in mind, is the prophets of old. How they could foretell of future events with precise detail. We see this clearly with all of the prophecies concerning the coming of Christ into this world, and of his death. Is it possible that God could allow the brain of that prophet operate on an eternal level, providing them with a view like the one I described with Time as a box? I often think about the Apostle John, and the vision he had of the Revelation of Christ. His recording was described as though he was there experiencing it as it happened, and shifted from one period of time to another. There is way more to this subject that can possibly be explained in clear terms so long as we live in this finite body.

Which brings me to my last subject, though mentioned early on in this article, and that is the fact that though our ability is finite, we as God’s created beings are Eternal in nature. What this means is that every human will never cease to exist. This body we live in is finite as is Time, but when the body fades, we simply move into the eternal realm. When you hear someone say to you “Where will you spend Eternity?” there is such weight to those words, because like it or not, it is the nature of our being, we move on when the temporal has failed. The Gospel is God’s message to his creation, that though they were created for him, they failed, and sinned, and no longer had access in his presence, (The weight and seriousness of this truth affects every single person), But that his Son, Jesus Christ paid the price and penalty for man’s sin, the gospel offers Eternal life to any who simply believe it. For those that do not believe, they choose to move into Eternity without God. But it is God that is Eternity, he is Light, Love, Hope, Joy, Beauty, and anything that is anything good, to choose to go into Eternity without God is to live without Light and love and all the rest that is good in an existence that is not measured in time as we know, but one where the BOX can be viewed from start to finish with no way to change its outcome, no way to change your place.

God is Good, God is Love, God is Light. Trust him right now before this old world stops the spin and we all move into Eternity.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Who is your Super Hero?

Who is your Super Hero?

 I have seen this question often in password security questions, and always have a certain Super Hero that I list as my answer (No, I am not going to tell you who it is). When discussing this with a friend, I said who my hero was, and they replied that maybe Jesus Christ, our Lord should be listed as the Christian’s hero? I thought about that a little, and came to the conclusion that my Lord is not my hero, he is my savior and Lord. I mean, it is a nice sentiment to say that the Lord is my hero, but in truth, he is God, The creator of everything we know, so it would seem a bit trivial to lower him to a super hero status, when in fact he is everything.

With that said, now I find myself questioning my answer to the security question. I know the characters of our childhood, like Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet, and so on, are characters that fascinate us as children, well as adults as well, considering all the remake of these comic series in Hollywood movies. But do I really want to imitate Superman, or any of these Super Hero characters in my life?

 As a Christian I think of some of the early Christians, especially the Apostles, including the Apostle Paul. These people are just like us, no inbred super powers, no Spider venom from a failed experiment, or Alien in our midst that can fly, but real humans, that felt pain like we do, and were sad and happy like we are. When we look at their lives, we see the sacrifice of their lives to serve the Lord. We see many suffer horrible persecution with imprisonment and even death, but never giving in, never denying the Lord in their witness for him. Now these are people that I can imitate in my life.

There is one of more recent time though that I, after re-evaluating this question, would call my Hero. My Mom. In the face of raising six children on her own after my Dad decided to check out of the second parent responsibility, leaving us to live his life as a carefree single, left my Mom with the job to teach, discipline,  and provide for all six of us without the aid and support of a second parent. I look back now, and see how hard she worked, finding a job in a not-so-women-friendly business world. Then coming home after a long day of working to do the cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, and being a mom for four daughters with real girl become ladies problems, and two boys that took complete advantage of the lack of time to keep an eye on everything. (yeah the chores were split up among the six of us as well, but there were no clear child labor laws at the time, so oh well). My Mom done good. I with my siblings can attest that our faith in the Lord, and the stability of our lives are a testimony to her relentless duty to her children.

Yes, when asked “Who is your childhood Hero?” my answer is a resounding MOM.

(I still plan to answer the security question with my original answer though, can’t be too careful these days).

Mike Lester ~ March 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Bear is just behind me.

The Bear is just behind me.

I wonder sometimes if other people suffer from fighting symptoms of sin, like I do, only to finally come to terms that there is a root sin in your life that rears its ugly head, like a huge black bear, we see the dumb things we do, and then immediately turn to the Lord asking forgiveness. When really it is “that sin that so easily besets us” something that for as long as we can remember, has caused us to do dumb things.

 In Hebrews chapter 12, the writer says “…to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Now try to imagine that sin that causes this trouble in your life, as a big ole grizzly bear chasing you through life, I imagine that I would run like crazy, if I was carrying a big ole backpack full of “things” I realize that if I just lay that thing that is weighing me down aside, I could run faster, putting more distance between me and that bear.

 Yeah life is like a race, for us that desire to please God, we do find that all the “things” we deem so precious are really the things that weigh us down, and allow that ole bear to catch up with us so many times. Why don’t we just throw them away if we know this? I think maybe it is because we spend so much time adoring them? In this same chapter of Hebrews, the writer does give us an answer, it is this: “…Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Heb 12:1-3.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace…

Yeah, adore the lover of your soul, he sees you as his precious treasure, how can we look at him, in his wonderful love to us, and not see him as our precious treasure too?
MFL 2015