People don’t keep promises anymore. God keeps His for one thousand generations. I think I’ll put my trust in Him instead of man.

Deuteronomy 7:9 (NKJV)  “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Whether politics, academics, sports or business, it seems like broken promises and lies are not only “no big deal”, they are almost expected.  How many times have you heard: “EVERYONE lies…”.

Politicians lie so much it’s a joke, and it’s not even news or a reason not to vote for them.  Students routinely declare that cheating is a must and when the goal is “graduate” instead of “learn”, who can blame them? Athletes and teams cheat because losing comes at such a high cost and a lack of character means there is no conviction or guilt involved.

Movies and sitcoms treat lying as if it’s normal and only wrong “when it hurts someone else”. Even worse, it’s a joke. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen lying treated as humor on TV.

Promises today are only to be kept if it remains advantageous personally to do so. Otherwise, tough luck.  Even in business, years ago I quit having clients sign contracts because I realized that paper promises mean nothing to someone who wants to break that promise… and honest people don’t need to sign a contract assuring honesty.  Not an approach taught in business school but it works for me.

Honesty (keeping promises, telling the truth) is a character trait, a value. It exposes the condition of the heart, mind and spirit of both the individual and the culture.

Think It Over: There is a reason why “LIAR” is at the top of every big list of sins in the Bible. Lying corrupts every part of human character. “LIAR” is so awful to God because it is everything He is not, and He is against. Satan is the Father of Lies. God is Truth and incapable of lying.

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. To give a gift of support, click here.

Christians are routinely asked “Is Christianity the only Truth?” We don’t have to answer, the Bible answers repeatedly and clearly.

John 1:9 (NKJV) That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
John 14:6 (NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

That’s just a couple of verses from a long list that plainly states 1) the Bible is true and 2) it is the ONLY truth delivered to us supernaturally by the One who created us (a few more: 2Tim 3:16-17; John 17:7; 2Pet 1:20-21; Psa 19:7; Psa 119:160; John 10:35).

Satan has always created confusion about Truth trying to make the Bible just another “holy book”, no better or worse than other religions.

The Bible alone has withstood thousands of years of the most intense scrutiny and skepticism only to be proven true and right every single time it touches on the topics of history, science, archeology, geology and cosmology.

What’s more, the Bible stands with rival concerning prophecy (foretelling the future). Unlike vague predictions such as those by Nostradamus, the Bible has dozens of specific, detailed prophecies written hundreds-to-thousands of years in advance, all of which came true to the last letter. No other “holy book” even attempts to present detailed prophecies. Only the one true Creator God of Time and the Universe, who exists in all times in eternity can tell His finite creation what will happen in the future.

If we found a book written in 600 B.C. that accurately recorded every NFL football score from 1950-2050, would we have any reason to doubt it as “NFL Truth”? Of course not, but then again, “NFL Truth” does call you to be accountable to Holy God like the Bible does.

Any objective person who studies fulfilled prophecy in the Bible can reach no other conclusion: the Bible is divinely inspired, it must come to us from outside our finite limitations of time and space, and if all the prophecy in it is true, everything in it must be true.

Don’t be intimidated by political correctness and our culture. Boldly declare the Bible as the only source of eternal Truth, divinely delivered to us by our Creator who wants us to know TRUTH and live by it.

Think It Over: How often do you hesitate or compromise your response when asked if Christianity (or the Bible or Jesus) is the ONLY truth? There is a lot of cultural pressure to not be “judgmental” but why should Christians deny what the Bible claims about itself, and let people believe a lie? Don’t be a coward. Stand up for the Truth, and declare it with boldness.

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. To give a gift of support, click here.

Pastor Oprah

Acts 4:12 – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

For those of you who have read my stuff for very long, you will know that it is only on a rare occasion I address specific people by name. It has come to a point where it is time for Christians to start addressing the religion of Oprah Winfrey by name.

Far from simply being a television celebrity who does interviews of other celebrities, or even a feel-good promoter of moralism (being good is the road to salvation), Oprah now openly engages in evangelizing people into her ear tickling, wishy-washy new age mumbo-jumbo. She is using her substantial fame and fortune to mislead millions of people down a road that leads only to eternal condemnation. Unfortunately many of her followers are nominal and Biblically ignorant Christians, and don’t get mad at me, the majority of those are women.

That is not a slight against women at all, it just happens to be the fact concerning this specific issue of Oprah. So my appeal is to all Christians. It is to Godly men who should understand the dangers involved in this insidious new age garbage that Oprah is preaching. Men should be leading, teaching their families and protecting them from this wolf in sheep’s clothing. My appeal is to the millions of women who hang on every word, and devour every book and piece of information that Oprah Winfrey promotes. And for those millions of women who CASUALLY watch her and are influenced by her “niceness”.

The first thing I would like you to do, is watch this short video:

The Church of Oprah Winfrey exposed

http://www.brentriggsstuff.com/detail.asp?submissionid=113

Consider the following as we contrast what “Oprah feels” versus what “God says”.

  • Oprah feels: there are millions of ways the following God and we all reach the same destination.
  • God says: (Acts 4:12) – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

  • Oprah feels: there cannot possibly be just one way to God.
  • God says: (Ephesians 2:8) – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (NKJV; emphasis mine)

  • Oprah feels: she can reconcile her “Christianity” with her new religious ideas because she has discovered how “big” God is
  • God says: (2 Samuel 7:22) – Therefore You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

  • Oprah feels: something is wrong with biblical Christianity because God cannot possibly be a jealous God
  • God says: (Exodus 20:5) – you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, (NKJV; emphasis mine) (others: Ex. 20:5; 34:13, 14; Num. 25:11; Deut. 29:20; 32:16, 21; 1 Kin. 14:22; Psa. 78:58; 79:5; Isa. 30:1, 2; 31:1, 3; Ezek. 16:42; 23:25; 36:5, 6; 38:19; Zeph. 1:18; 3:8; Zech. 1:14; 8:2; 1 Cor. 10:22)

  • Oprah feels: God is a “feeling experience” and not a “believing experience”
  • God says: (Acts 16:31) – So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

  • Oprah feels: if God for you is still about a belief, then that is not truly God
  • God says: (Romans 1:16) – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

This is just a little taste of what she is now teaching but it has plenty for any Christian to now understand that Oprah Winfrey has gone from being a talk show host to a promoter of new age religion.

Who are you going to trust with your to eternal destination? The feelings of Oprah Winfrey? Or the divinely inspired and supernaturally delivered Word From the Living God of the Universe?

“Oh, but Brent, that is just your opinion. You have your beliefs and you should let other people have theirs”. No, that is incorrect. I base my beliefs on irrefutable evidence that God exists, and that the Bible is His divinely inspired Word. All other religions place their trust in their “feelings” and personal pride, not definitive evidence. There is a huge difference.

Christianity is about what God has DONE for us. All other religions, including Oprah’s, are about what people can DO for themselves. Christianity is about one single sef-existent God of the universe. All other religions make man their own god because man has to do something to achieve salvation (and with most religions, including Oprah’s, man IS ‘god’, or will become ‘god’).

We live in a dangerous time where there is a lot of social pressure to DENY that there is only one single way to salvation and to be reconciled to the only true God. Think back to Noah. When Noah was building the ark, there were probably about 6 to 8 billion people on the planet (yes, 6 to 8 billion; most people have never really thought about that). Yet only Noah and his family believed the truth about God. The entire rest of the world laughed at them and told them how wrong they were. Even if there were only a few million people, or even a few hundred thousand people, it is still tremendous odds to go against the rest of the world and stand alone for truth.

Today we have a lot of opposition to the truth about salvation, yet we experience nothing close to what Noah had to deal with. Even still, we find millions of people, who know the truth about God, being deceived by the shallow false religious ideas of people like Oprah, and millions more afraid to take a stand for the Truth (even though they know it is the Truth).

Oprah Winfrey has now put herself into the public arena of religion and has set herself up as an evangelist of the New Age. Therefore, it is time for Christians to stand against her, to quit supporting her in every way including watching her shows and reading her books, and to sternly warn and teach all other Christians about the false religion she now promotes. Oprah mesmerizes millions of adoring fans every week with lies straight from the pit of hell.

Time to take a stand.

PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. To give a gift of support, click here.

Head God, Heart God – Final Thoughts – Part 3

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)

Let’s finish talking about this difference between what our head knows about God versus what our heart (emotions) feels when things are at their WORST in our life. To make sure I give credit where it’s due, this series was prompted by Michael Wells book, “Sidetracked in the Wilderness”, particularly chapter four.

Consider some common responses and see if you can identify with any of them. Remember, we are talking about what you feel deep in your heart (emotions) when you are at the very worse points in your life. It takes a lot of personal guts to honestly consider some of this:

  • Head: When I think about being with God I feel joy and love.
  • Heart: When I think about being with God it scares me, or maybe He won’t even show up.

  • Head: When I think about God, I wish I could be there with Him.
  • Heart: When I think about God, I wonder if He really cares, or if He is really there.

  • Head: I really enjoy God when I am in His presence.
  • Heart: I really enjoy God when I’m sure He really forgave me for something.

  • Head: Sometimes I wish God would take away all evil.
  • Heart: Sometimes I wish God would just end my life and take me home now.

  • Head: I can really depend on God to take care of me.
  • Heart: I can really depend on God to be silent when I need Him most.

  • Head: I’m quite sure that God loves me.
  • Heart: I’m quite sure that God is waiting to punish me.

  • Head: I’m not afraid of God, He loves me.
  • Heart: I’m afraid God is going to take away the thing I love most to punish me for sin.

Think about the “heart” responses. Author Michael Wells says that many Christians want a “future faith” because their HEAD knowledge knows that IN THE FUTURE God will make every thing perfect but because of their deepest current emotional concept of God, they aren’t that joyful about “present faith”.

That’s understandable. If God really does scare us, is going to punish us, is going to take what we love and remove all the “fun” from our lives, it’s no wonder that much of our “faith” is lipservice now, and a hope for better things in the future.

Wells calls Christians who think and feel this way “unbelieving Believers”. In other words, they believe in God for salvation LATER, but have not believed what God says about salvation NOW…. redeeming us from the curse of hopelessness, depression, anxiety and insecurity NOW, in this life.

The answer? You have to rebuke emotions and feelings that do not line up with God’s truth, and purposely replace them with emotions that line up with God’s Word. Most people would tell you that they “can’t control their emotions”. That’s hogwash. By a choice of our will, by our words, by our thoughts, and by what we CHOOSE to allow in our minds, we can retrain, discipline and control our emotions. God does not leave us at the mercy of our emotions. This is a fallacy of humanism and modern “mental health” theories.

In the same way a temptation is not sin until we choose to give it “life”, an emotion does not become our reality until we choose to “host” it mentally.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)

A Christian lives in a constant process of “renewing your mind”. Emotions that aren’t in line with God’s promises… get rid of them by renewing your mind with God’s truth.

God has promised us everything we need to live good and Godly lives (2Pet 1:3). He did not lie. If God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do, then we have no reason to be joyless, defeated, depressed, critical or pessimistic. To the degree that we are, it demonstrates “unbelieving Believers”.

In closing, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what specific point or lesson I’m trying to communicate. If there is one for you, I pray the Lord will reveal it. I just know this entire idea of how our head knowledge doesn’t always line up with our true emotional concepts of God, really caused me to think alot about what “unbelief” I personally may have deep down. Perhaps you’ll find it as profitable to seriously consider if your emotional manifestation of God (during the WORSE times that life hands out) lines up with your head knowledge of God during the comfortable moments of life.

Our truest concept of God is only as good as the WORSE we think about Him. So it’s very useful in my opinion to seriously consider these things.

Lord God, help us in our unbelief to believe the truth with both our mind, and our emotions. Help us to be believing Believers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

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PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. To give a gift of support, click here.

Head God, Heart God – Continued – Part 2

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (NKJV)

We continue to look at some interesting questions that reveal the difference between what we know in our head about God, versus what we truly feel in our emotions about Him. Remember, what we are examining is how we feel at OUR WORST, when life is caving in around us and we are in the depths of our greatest unhappiness. During those times, think about your answers to some of these questions and let if reveal how you REALLY feel about God.

When I am forced to trust God, I feel…

Our head would say that we feel secure, or cared for. Maybe we feel peaceful or relaxed because we KNOW God can be trusted. Have you ever felt doubtful? Have you ever wondered if God really cares? When you are forced to trust God, do you feel like this is His chance to “get you” for all your sin and failure? Payback time? Do you wonder if He is looking down and saying “I told you so…” or “you should have thought of me sooner”?

As we discussed yesterday, where do these feelings come from? Logically, they cannot come from God Himself, for He has never failed us in any way. Obviously they come from our own misunderstandings, our own experiences with others, and our own ignorance. That’s the bad news. The good news is that all that can be corrected by simply knowing the truth and informing your emotions.

Find out the truth, and inform your emotions.

I’m sure that someday God will…

The typical answers are: bless me, find me the perfect spouse, help me get out of debt, make me a better Christian. Have you ever felt sure that someday God is going to expose your struggle with that secret sin? Or maybe He is finally going to punish you, or cause you to suffer or take something precious from you?

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (NKJV)

How can we read that and still feel like God is “going to get us”? One obvious reason is sin that we are tolerating in our life. It causes guilt which in turn causes us to think and feel wrongly about God. That’s a fairly legitimate response, and should not be ignored. If you feel like God is “going to get you”, take a good look for sin you might be ignoring in your life.

We can finish “I’m sure that someday God will…” with dozens of different Bible verses filled with wonderful promise. We need to notify our emotions and live in the joy of those promises. It sounds easy, but examination of the “typical” Christian life and attitude exposes if not the difficulty, the rarity. Another…

When I think about what God tells me to do, I feel…

Overwhelmed? Unable to comply? Constrained? Deprived? Is God a kill-joy? A robber of fun? How does that feeling line up with Scripture?

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (NKJV)

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Author Michael Wells (Sidetracked in the Wilderness) refers to the contradiction between knowledge and feelings in Christians as “unbelieving Believers”. We believe in the “facts” of God, sincerely, but there is a disconnect in our daily life and how we emotionally manifest the facts we believe.

Does this indicate an absence of true salvation? While I think at times it probably does, that’s not what I’m contemplating in this series. I’m speaking more to the multitudes of Christians who struggle finding joy, peace and security in their relationship with God. These Believers have allowed their deep, deep, deep concepts of God to be distorted by the faults of other humans, their own faults and are very often just simply haven’t learned or recognized this in their life. And yes, I must also include that I think this often caused by the level of worldliness we have become comfortable with.

If we REALLY believe the truth about God, we would never worry, never be depressed, never feel hopeless, never by anxious and never doubt. One aspect to maturing as a Christian is to take what we know and understand in our HEADS, and move it down to live in our HEARTS, where it will be manifested in our choices, actions and attitudes.

A few more tomorrow and we’ll wrap it up.

Lord God, help us in our unbelief to believe the truth with both our mind, and our emotions. Help us to be believing Believers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

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PS: WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS FOR ME? Ask here. To give a gift of support, click here.