Archive for » February, 2005 «

Friday, February 25th, 2005 | Author:

One of the most serious errors that people make, when it comes to eternal life, is to believe a lie. The Bible is the only holy book that has stood the test of time and examination by many of the most brilliant minds in history. I personally believed in my younger years that if I did the best that I could, treated people fairly and went to church on Easter and Christmas that I was as good as any other person and would surely go to heaven when I died. Another huge error is believing that you can do something to give a friend, family member or loved one eternal life. Some falsely teach that you can be baptized for the dead; others say that you can pay their way out of purgatory by something that you do for God.   Let the Bible speak for itself on these two issues.“Hear this, all peoples; give ear, all inhabitants of the world, both low and high, rich and poor together. My mouth will speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart will be understanding. I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp. Why should I fear in days of adversity, when the iniquity of my foes surrounds me, even those who trust in their wealth and boast in the abundance of their riches? No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him–for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever– that he should live on eternally, that he should not undergo decay.For he sees that even wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others. Their inner thought is that their houses are forever and their dwelling places to all generations; they have called their lands after their own names. But man in his pomp will not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are foolish, and of those after them who approve their words. Selah. As sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd; and the upright shall rule over them in the morning, and their form shall be for Sheol to consume so that they have no habitation. But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me. Selah. Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him. Though while he lives he congratulates himself– and though men praise you when you do well for yourself– he shall go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light. Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish.”  Psalm 49:1-20“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”  Luke 16:13 “And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”  Matthew 13:22 “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”  1 Timothy 6:17  (Emphasis added to these verses)  If you have questions about the Bible, faith or eternal life, please let us help you. We will show you where to look rather than pushing something on you that you don’t fully understand.  Critical: Don’t ever fear mankind! Only God is worthy of fear/reverence. Let Him have your life and you will be blown away at how your emptiness will fade and the joy and peace will saturate your heart and life. Begin by praying this simple prayer. “God, I want to know the truth and I am asking You to lead me as I read Your word, the Bible.” This is one prayer God loves to answer! May God bless you and yours.  

Pastor Ike

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Friday, February 18th, 2005 | Author:

My family watched a really old movie the other night called Meet John Doe. We checked it out at the Corona Library. This movie deals with a newspaper that has lost its circulation and in an effort to save the business it has gone so far as to rename the place, give it a new look and fire a number of the employees. One reporter tries in vain to convince the new manager to let her continue working there. Finally, in desperation, she sits at her typewriter and writes a flaming fictional story about John Doe who because of his inability to get a job was planning to jump from the courthouse roof on Christmas Eve. The story catches fire and the public responds overwhelmingly with offers for work, women who want to marry him etc. The newspaper’s circulation skyrockets as a result of the response to the story and so the plot is set.

  The public identifies with John Doe since any one of them could be John or Joan Doe themselves. The newspaper goes so far as to put out an ad to reach out to John and put a face and a heart to the story. Many potential John Doe’s show up so they make a careful search to find just the right one. He is found and they dress him in a new suit, give him the once over and begin to promote him.

  Today this story still brings a tear and identification with the average men and women who work hard, live from paycheck to paycheck, pay their taxes and in reality are the backbone of this great nation. There are always those who stand out in the crowd. They may be politicians, actors, heroes and even some preachers. The point that I am trying to make is that none of these so-called big shots would be big shots without the John and Jane Does of the land. If regular people don’t go to movies, vote, watch television or go to church then the big shots would not be big shots any more.

  I love the movie A Bug’s Life as it sets the stage for the John Does of the bug world. The thousands of worker ants think that they can do nothing but work and serve the grasshoppers. At the end of the movie one of the worker ants stands his ground with the grasshopper and this unites the whole ant colony to engage the hoppers in battle. The ending is typical of good movies as the John and Jane Does defeat the big shots and they live happily ever after.

  There are so many ordinary men and women in the world and I am proud to be among this wonderful group of people. They have no star status, no parades or television specials, no six figure salaries. These worker ants need to lift up their heads and realize that they are just as precious in God’s eyes as the most famous person who ever lived. These hard working people are the spine of all that makes this great nation as great as she is. I just want to say thank you for the work, volunteerism, voting, attending and whatever you may do that makes the world a better place to live. You deserve a good thank you especially from those whose names are celebrated in the limelight.  “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Philippians 2:3-11  So, don’t let anyone put you down for being one of the worker ants. Remember, you are in great company. Most big names from history were not famous during their lifetime. Their superior work ethic put them into the history books to serve as role models for all of us who are not willing to settle for second best. Let’s give it our best effort and give all the glory to God. May He bless you and yours.                          Pastor Ike

 

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Friday, February 11th, 2005 | Author:

There are many crimes that injure everyone involved but our society today has classified a group of crimes as victimless crimes. What on earth could be given the name victimless and still be a crime? This is precisely the question that social scientists are asking today: Why should we charge a person with a crime that has no victim? The problem lies in the fact that no crime is without a victim.  This category of crimes is related to sexual immorality. The question is asked, “What harm is there in a man or woman engaging the services of a prostitute or going to a club that features naked dancers? And how can pornography harm anyone?” Are the legislators thinking about the person’s loved ones or sexual addictions that lead to committing rape, murder or other crimes? Does it bother the wife or husband for their spouse to “play around?” This question has two different answers. To the person who is “just having a little fun” it seems harmless, but to the person left at home it brings pain that cannot be described. I have often posed the question to the spouse who “had a little fun” if they would mind if their spouse decided to do the same thing tonight, would they would have a problem with this? The answer is always the same, “YES!” This smacks of the ultimate double standard. How can a person be so narrow minded when it comes to violating their commitment to be loyal to their spouse for the rest of their life. Do vows mean nothing to them? Are they liars?  Proverbs has much to say here! “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones.” Proverbs 2:4 “My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it.”  Proverbs 5:1-6 “The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.” Proverbs 6:32 “For at the window of my house I looked out through my lattice, and I saw among the naive, and discerned among the youths a young man lacking sense, passing through the street near her corner; and he takes the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the middle of the night and in the darkness. And behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; she is now in the streets, now in the squares, and lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she says to him: ‘I was due to offer peace offerings; today I have paid my vows. Therefore I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; let us delight ourselves with caresses. For my husband is not at home, he has gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, at the full moon he will come home.’  With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life. Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, and pay attention to the words of my mouth. Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths. For many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain. Her house is the way to Sheol, descending to the chambers of death.” Proverbs 7:6-27(emphasis added)  Take a look in the hospital or hospice and visit a patient who is dying of AIDS or some other sexually transmitted disease. It isn’t a very pretty picture. A moment of illicit pleasure turns into a lifetime of misery and suffering. Take Solomon’s words seriously, avoid the “victimless crimes” like the plague!

                                    Pastor Ike

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