The Predator in the Church

The Predator in the Church

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I have a dream that the #MeTooMovement is not needed and all of our women like queens they were treated.
— Derek Minor

When I heard this quote by Derek Minor, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement as I vibed to his “I Have A Dream” track from his newly released “The Trap” album. But I was instantly filled with conviction because the #MeTooMovement exists today because of people like me. 

Growing up, when I wanted to express my feelings towards a girl I was interested in, rather than saying so with my words I would do so with my hands. This was a disrespectful, carnal and an immature way of thinking as I followed “the futile way of life inherited from my forefathers” (1 Pet. 1:18), looking at women as objects of my lusts rather than people to be loved and respected. 

So when I heard about the 8 hour funeral for “The Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin, I was struck with much grief when I saw how the Bishop presiding over the funeral inappropriately fondled singer Ariana Grande.

This hurts me for 3 reasons: 

  1. The pain inflicted on the victim
     
  2. The fact that I am Bishop Charles Ellis III
     
  3. The shame this brings to the Church  

Looking throughout the Scriptures, we can see man’s predatorial ways towards women in stories of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob who was raped by Shechem (Gen. 34:1-7), the story of the Levite’s concubine who was raped, left for dead and body dismembered and dispersed throughout the land (Judges 19:25-30), the infamous story of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11-12) and Amnon and Tamar, in which Amnon raped his own sister due to his lustful obsession (2 Sam. 13). These are stories we see on the news all of the time and with the rise of the #MeTooMovement these things are being revealed on a greater scale. 

The world could literally see the discomfort in the face and body of the singer as she was being groped by the Bishop, and yet people will highlight her attire over this sin committed against her. This too is an all-to-common-logic where the victim is blamed rather than responsibility laid upon the culprit. After releasing “God is a Woman” I sincerely hope and pray that the true God of Israel will grant her repentance, save and give her peace. 

Bishop Ellis did not love his neighbor that day and we are all guilty of that exact thing when we use people made in the image of God to carry out our lustful passions.

I am unable to feel the pain of anyone who has been abused but I know the mind of an abuser. In the story of Dinah the daughter of Jacob, she was raped by a man whom the Scriptures say “loved her and spoke tenderly to her” (Gen. 34:3), but we know from the story of Amnon and Tamar that lust and love are not one in the same; strong desire does not mean love. True love does not lead to rape, but rather, the Apostle Paul lays out the fruit of love in 1 Corinthians 13 where he says “love is patient and kind” among other things. Bishop Ellis did not love his neighbor that day and we are all guilty of that exact thing when we use people made in the image of God to carry out our lustful passions. I have no way of knowing how Bishop Ellis truly feels, but I pray that the God of Heaven may grant him repentance and restoration. 

Lastly, it is acts such as these that bring shame to the Church of Christ. No matter what, the world will look at this situation and shake its head due to the moral failure of a professing man of God. These are things we as the Church must consider when it comes to our sins, they do not just affect us personally, it profanes the name of God who is Jealous for His glory. King David, who was to represent God to the nations instead had “given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme” (2 Sam. 12:14). The fact that Bishop Ellis has done this as well as many others (including myself) shows that humanity is in great need of a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died for the abused and the abuser. His grace is greater than all of our sins, His Blood washes away the darkest stains and He will joyfully present those who trust in Him alone for salvation blameless before Almighty God on that Great Day. As zealous as we may be for the attributes of God, all the more may we be zealous for His glory by way of conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ (Phil. 1:27, 1 Thess. 2:12). 

How to Overcome Lust

How to Overcome Lust

One of the biggest questions we receive at God Over Porn is “How can I overcome lust or pornography?” I personally have always shied away from the “12 step programs,” because when I examine the question..

Dead Wrong

Dead Wrong

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Christopher Wallace, AKA Biggy Smalls, is arguably one of Hip Hop’s greatest artists of all time; unfortunately, his life ended in a hail of gunfire in March 1997.

On his song “Suicidal Thoughts” from his “Ready to Die” album, he says:

“When I die, f**k it, I wanna go to hell
'Cause I'm a piece of s**t it ain't hard to f***!n' tell
It don't make sense, goin' to heaven with the goodie-goodies
Dressed in white, I like black Timbs and black hoodies..”

He was so convinced he was headed for Hell for all of the crimes/sins he committed and he viewed God as “strict” that would keep him from doing the things he wanted (Gal. 5:17). He bought the lie from the devil that God was not indeed good, but that man was and therefore he did not desire to be amongst the “goody-goodies;” but if he only knew that only God is good (Mark 10:18, Rom. 3:10-12).

The Father is a good God who sent His good Son to redeem us for His good pleasure. It is not due to a particular work we’ve done (Tit. 3:4-5, Phil. 2:13), but this is a difficult truth for the common man to grasp because in the words of Voddie Baucham, “You and I are sinners. Moreover, we are self-deceived. We do not see ourselves accurately. Every one of us thinks more of us himself than he ought.” God’s Spirit shows us what manner of people we are through His Holy Word to show us our desperate need for Jesus, by opening our eyes to see that we are “poor, wretched, pitiful, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17).

Biggie truly was notorious, but sadly he had it notoriously wrong, about the Gospel of grace and those who inherit the promises of God through this grace by which we stand. The white raiment he despised is the very righteousness of Christ, the only thing capable of saving man’s soul from eternal death, but sadly he was “ready to die” apart from the One who made him. And such were some of us. But as the Apostle Paul said, “but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

The only difference between the Christian and non-Christian, the grace and mercy of God. May we abandon all of our efforts to atone for our sins and by His marvelous grace, may we receive His glorious Gospel that saves the worst of the worst.

Simul Justus et Peccator

Simul Justus et Peccator

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There will be a time in your walk with the Lord, where you ask yourself, “why am I still sinning if I’m a Christian?” When you understand Luther and his phrase, “Simul Justus/Iustus et Peccator,” you will then understand why, as a Christian, you will struggle with sin until you are called Home or Christ’s return (whichever comes first).

Let me preface before we go any further. It is troubling to have to preface this, but it is needed. There is a difference between willful sinning and a struggle/wrestling with sin. Believe or not, there are people who believe in sinless perfectionism. In brief, sinless perfectionism believes that Christians don’t sin..AT ALL. This theology is dangerous and damning. This theology is heresy.

Now that we have that out of the way. Here is a little history of this term explained by the late great giant of the faith, R.C. Sproul

Taken from the blog post from Nathan W. Bingham about an excerpt from a teaching series from Sproul, here is some of the transcript of it:

Perhaps the formula that Luther used that is most famous and most telling at this point is his formula simul justus et peccator. And if any formula summarizes and captures the essence of the Reformation view, it is this little formula. Simul is the word from which we get the English word simultaneously. Or, it means ‘at the same time.’ Justus is the Latin word for just or righteous. And you all know what et is. Et the past tense of the verb ‘to eat.’ Have you et your dinner? No, you know that’s not what that means. You remember in the death scene of Caesar after he’s been stabbed by Brutus he says, “Et tu, Brute?” Then fall Caesar. And you too Brutus? It simply means and. Peccator means sinner.”

In summary,  Simul Justus et Peccator means at the same time, saint and sinner or simultaneously righteous/just and sinner. How can this be so? Aren’t we set free from sin? Aren’t we righteous now? How can we be a saint and a sinner? How can we be righteous and a sinner at the same time? Well, Dr. Sproul explains in well in this same teaching excerpt:

In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.”

Beautifully written!

Raise your hand, Christian, if you still sin? Every hand should be up who is reading this. Have you believed in the Gospel and turned from your sin? Do you love the Lord? Do you try to obey His commands now that you are a Christian? That is because of Christ and what He did on the Cross. Jesus Christ came down to this earth, born of a virgin, and lived a perfect life. 33 years of perfection Christ lived here on this earth. Because He was perfect, He was the perfect sacrifice for those who would have and did believe in the Gospel. Once this happened, you were Justified. You were COUNTED as righteous in the eyes of God. The word COUNTED is important here and it goes back to the Genesis of history, ironically, in the book of Genesis.

After making the covenant with Abram (aka Abraham), God’s Word says, “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). That word, counted in the Hebrew is chashab. It means to value and regard as well. Abraham wasn’t righteous, in and of himself, but he was valued, regarded, counted, as righteous by God because he believed in the promise. So was Abraham sinless? Did God change his mind after Abraham sinned? Absolutely not! Christians, we will see Abraham in heaven. Fast forward to Romans 4, where this same testimony of Abraham was reiterated by Paul to make a point: we are justified, not by works (which sinless perfectionism is), but by Christ alone through faith alone. What I want to point out in Romans 4 is that Paul used the same word counted here by referring back to the OT, you guessed it, Genesis 15:6.

When God counts those who believe as righteous, that doesn’t mean we are infused with righteousness, but when God looks at us, He doesn’t see us, He sees Christ and His righteousness. How arrogant and prideful does man have to be to think that they can obtain absolute righteousness and perfection in this sin-stained world? Now let me reiterate...grace is not a license to sin. You were never born-again in the first place when there is no regard or conviction about the sin you’re committing. The Holy Spirit is our helper (John 14:26) and convicts us of our sin (John 16:8).

There is no need for sanctification if we aren’t, as Christians, Simul Justus et Peccator. We would be just be justified and go about our life with no worries. See how silly that sounds? You might as well take out the whole New Testament because it is FILLED with commands to be sanctified:

  • "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."~ 1 Corinthians 6:11
  • "But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."~ Romans 15:15-16
  • "But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth."~ 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”~1 Peter 1:1-2
  • "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”~ John 17:17

I can go on and on pointing out Scripture that commands us to be sanctified. We need to be sanctified, being a Christian and all, because we ourselves aren’t righteous but we were counted righteous by God through Jesus Christ’s righteousness. This process is called imputation. For those whom God predestined, He has justified (Romans 8:30), sending His Son to the Cross, bearing the sins of those who will and would believe and in turn giving those same people, His righteousness.

To sum it all up, Christian, we are Simul Justus et Peccator. We are simultaneously just and a sinner. We have been redeemed and justified in the eyes of God because of what Jesus Christ has done on the Cross. But because we live in a sinful world and still inhabit a sinful body, we are to be continually sanctified and conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I will leave you all with this confession in The Scots Confession chpt. 15 “The Perfection of the Law and the Imperfection of Man”:

“We confess and acknowledge that the law of God is most just, equal, holy, and perfect, commanding those things which, when perfectly done, can give life and bring man to eternal felicity; but our nature is so corrupt, weak, and imperfect, that we are never able perfectly to fulfill the works of the law. Even after we are reborn, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth of God is not in us. It is therefore essential for us to lay hold on Christ Jesus, in his righteousness and his atonement, since he is the end and consummation of the Law and since it is by him that we are set at liberty so that the curse of God may not fall upon us, even though we do not fulfill the Law in all points. For as God the Father beholds us in the body of his Son Christ Jesus, he accepts our imperfect obedience as if it were perfect, and covers our works, which are defiled with many stains, with the righteousness of his Son. We do not mean that we are so set at liberty that we owe no obedience to the Law--for we have already acknowledged its place--but we affirm that no man on earth, with the sole exception of Christ Jesus, has given, gives, or shall give in action that obedience to the Law which the Law requires. When we have done all things we must fall down and unfeignedly confess that we are unprofitable servants. Therefore, whoever boasts of the merits of his own works or puts his trust in works of supererogation, boasts of what does not exist, and puts his trust in damnable idolatry.”

Eternal Pleasures, Forevermore!

Eternal Pleasures, Forevermore!

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“The porn industry is in crisis following the death of five young women in 12 weeks”

As my eyes follow the words of this news article, I’m saddened. As I wrote my last blog, “The Open Casket of the Spiritually Dead,” I was not aware of the other deaths from the other four women. In a span of 12 weeks, five image bearers of God died. Four out of the five were by suicide. The other one died in her sleep. These five women, potential wives, and mothers. Five women who had a family, although some may have disagreed with their lifestyle, who had loved them dearly, gone….let that sink in. 

We don’t know what happens in the moments leading up to their deaths, but if they didn’t turn from their sin and believe in the Lord Jesus, their destination is grim. This is not to knock them or make another, what seems to be depressing, blog. But I want you to feel the weight of this. From an industry that makes billions of dollars a year, with millions and millions of viewers a year, they continue to catch the eyes of their viewers on a daily basis. 

Apparently, depression runs rampant in the porn industry. The irony of that is, for an industry who banks on delivering video after video, with the intentions of pleasing their audience, the porn stars are depressed. Depression is real, and this is coming from a person who speaks from experience. I struggle with depression. I’ve struggled with depression since high school. But the difference between now and high school is that I wasn’t saved in high school. 

Trying to suppress the hurt and the sorrow of depression, I would numb myself with marijuana, sex, porn, and money. Those things were a means to temporarily sweep my depression and anxiety under the rug. Did it work? For the moment, but after the temporary “high,” I was back to square one…depressed. I was also bullied in high school as well, which contributed BIG TIME to my depression. Feeling worthless because of the words were said and the names I was called, sunk me into a dark place of depression. 

The porn industry said that what contributes to the depression that runs rampant in the industry is bullying. Cyber-bullying, hate mail, you name it. In the article, one porn star says, “I have suffered depression because of the way people view my job. That is the worst part of this job, the way people treat because of what I do for a living.” Nobody deserves to be bullied, and I mean NOBODY. This includes those who are stuck in the porn industry. 

With all this said, I feel sorrowful for these women and their families. An industry filled with lovers of money, lovers of sex and in many cases, lovers of drugs, these temporary pleasures have an end to them. This road of pleasures is as wide as the gate they entered in. This road of pleasures is filled with people who seek to be satisfied and find any way to fill that void. But that void is never satisfied. Proverbs 27:20 says, "Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.” Other words for Sheol and Abandon are death and destruction. So death and destruction are never satisfied. It continues on, like a tornado, destroying everything in its path. It doesn’t have to be this way…there is hope!

With depression being in essence, hopeless, Jesus is the hope.

Just simply ceasing to look at porn isn’t going to deliver you. That is the will of you and your flesh. It won’t last. But to replace the temporary pleasure of viewing porn with something eternal. Or should I say, SOMEONE eternal? Psalm 16:11 says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence, there is a fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” To know Christ, to be a co-heir with Christ, to be son or daughter of God, is to experience eternal pleasure. The pleasures of the Lord are eternal, it doesn’t go away, it’s permanent. 

To be made in the image of God is to want pleasure because God is the author of pleasure. But the difference is, we have perverted the means of enjoying those pleasures by abusing sex, money, drugs and every other thing we’ve got our hands on. The word Eden in Hebrew is delight or pleasure. Think about that, God made a garden and called it “The Garden of Pleasure.” And it was for man and woman to enjoy, FOREVER. 

So we get our want for pleasure from our Creator. God doesn’t despise pleasure, but what He does despise is man’s view of pleasure. It’s perverted, it’s man-centered and not God-centered, it’s evil and not holy and it’s temporary and not eternal. Your “pleasure” of viewing porn will come to end. That is why you keep going back over and over and over again, wanting more thrilling videos. Take a moment and ponder that. Ask yourself, “why do I keep going back?” “why do I feel the need to want more?” It is because you’re wanting to feel that void of wanting pleasure with something temporary. God, who the creator of pleasure, has a much better plan for your pleasure. And that plan is Himself. For He sent His Son to die on the Cross for sins including, porn, adultery, and lust. Jesus died for those who are in bondage to this heinous sin, so that they may be set free. Jesus died so that for those who believe in Him, will experience pleasures the right way, eternally.

I encourage you to pray for these porn star’s families. They are grieving a loss that they loved dearly. Pray that God brings His people into their lives to share the hope of Jesus Christ. Pray for all the porn stars who are trapped in the industry, for their soul is on the line. Pray for those who are still trapped in viewing porn day after day. Lastly, pray for your heart and mine, that we continue to experience the pleasures of God, rather the temporary pleasures that porn has to offer. Grace & Peace.

Meditation as a Means of Mortifying Sin

Meditation as a Means of Mortifying Sin

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There is a stigma when it comes to meditation. The first thought that comes to the minds of many, when thinking of meditation is what? Sitting crisscross making the “humming sound.” This type of meditation encourages you to empty your mind to find inner peace. This is not biblical meditation. So lets get that out of the way and clarify that thats not what I’m talking about when it comes to meditation. Biblical meditation doesn’t encourage you to empty your mind but rather the opposite. It encourages you to fill your mind with truths that come from God’s Word. The meditation that I’m talking about is best defined by Don Whitney in his book Spiritual Disciplines, pg. 46, and it states, “deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in Scripture for the purposes of understanding, application, and prayer.” This, my friends, is true, biblical meditation. Intentional thinking of God’s Word, pondering the truth’s that come from His Word. 

Everyone meditates on something. Whether it’s things from the past that have hurt you, to what happened at work this passed week that made you upset, everyone meditates on something. Like I said earlier, other religions have taken this concept and made it their own, some with the practice of emptying your mind, in an attempt to find inner peace and solitude. We as humans, made in the Imago Deo (Image of God), were made to meditate. To sit, chew and ponder in your mind. But as you know, sin entered in the world and have misconstrued it into something it wasn’t made for. But let me encourage you, getting back to biblical meditation can and will help as a means of mortifying sin. That includes the sin of pornography. 

Before indulging in porn, a thought occurs in your mind. I have yet to meet a person who watches porn without thinking about it first. Whether it’s from replaying that woman or man you’re wandering eyes laid on earlier in the day to boredom. A thought slips into your mind, calling out to you to indulge. This is a form of meditation. A sinful one, but it is a meditation. You are sitting and pondering about what is intended to be sacred but was wrecked by sin. So you have that thought to indulge in porn slip into your mind, you have one of two options. You feed it or you starve it. Your first instinct, a fleshly one, is to indulge. You continue to think about, “If I do it now, I can repent later,” “Nobody is home, so I won’t get caught,” “I know this is wrong, but I can’t help it,” “One more time isn’t going to hurt,” “I’m too far into this, I can’t stop,” and so on. Once you start feeding this thought, it is a downward spiral from there. Next thing you know, you are filled with conviction, needing to be washed from the guilt and shame. 

Meditation can act as a means of mortifying your sin. Getting up in the morning, before pulling your phone out, checking your twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. fill your mind with God's Word. Get in your Bible. To fight temptation is to use God's Word. To use meditation as a means of mortifying your sin of pornography means to chew on God's Word. 

Practically speaking, here is an example of using biblical meditation as a means to mortifying sin:

Let's take Ephesians 4:17-24 and practice meditating on it. In those verses Paul talks about our "former manner" and our "renewed spirit." So if you're going to mortify your sin of pornography, take the truths of these verses and apply it to your life. What are some truths of Ephesians 4:17-24?:

  • We must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds
  • Why not? Because they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them.
  • Is walking as the Gentiles do our former manner or our renewed spirit? 
  • It's our former manner.
  • What does Paul say to do with our former manner?
  • To put off our former manner
  • Then what? To be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 

Now that we have taken the truths of these verses, take these truths to the throne of grace and plead with God. 

Here is a prayer that is shaped in the biblical truths of Ephesians 4:17-24:

"Father, I come to You with complete and total dependence upon You. Your Word says to put off my former manner and not walk as the Gentiles do, who walk in their futility of their minds. You tell me to put off my former manner and to be renewed in the spirit of my mind. So, LORD, I ask that You help me today to walk in the newness of life that You've given me. Your Word says that I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and so I pray for strength and wisdom when confronted by temptation. I pray that You give me the strength to flee and remembrance of the truths of Your Word in Ephesians 4. Thank You that I do have a renewed spirit and mind and by Your grace, I can live today, not as Gentile, but as Your child. In Jesus name, amen!" 

My prayer is that this encourages you to dig deeper in the Word and mine the truths of the Bible. The very Word in which you open, is the very Word that God has breathed life into (2 Timothy 3:16). Take advantage of that and use it to mortify, to kill and to bury the sin that seeks to destroy you. As the words of the puritan John Owen, "Be killing sin or it will be killing you." Grace and peace!

The Open Casket of the Spiritually Dead

The Open Casket of the Spiritually Dead

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When we go to funerals, what is the atmosphere like? It could go either way. For believers, there may be some grieving, heartache, but there is also rejoicing. Rejoicing in the fact that the one who passed on, is present with the Lord. On the contrary, for unbelievers, it's a nightmare. Weeping, sobbing uncontrollably, anxiety, depression fills the atmosphere. Hope has been sucked out, like life in the body that lays before swollen eyes. See the contrast between the two? 

On December 5th, 2017, a porn star hanged herself in a public park, 20 minutes from her home.. Another image bearer of God is gone and I wonder how many times her videos have been played since. It's sick to think of, isn't it? You're probably thinking, "why would someone view porn videos of a person who is dead?" "where is the sympathy?" "That is sick and twisted!" This thinking process is valid. But let me ask you, do you think when you view porn online with people who are alive physically is better? No, it's not. You are essentially viewing funerals of spiritually dead people.

Ephesians 2:1a says, "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins." Spiritually dead people who are taking something sacred, which is the marriage bed, and defiling it right before your eyes for your pleasure. "Where is the sympathy?" The passing of this porn star should be a wake up call for anyone who is still caught in the confines of porn. Every time someone clicks on porn, they are essentially opening a casket of a lost, spiritually dead soul and viewing it for their own selfish pleasure [click-to-tweet]

"For the wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23a. Death, physically and spiritually. This is the sad reality of those who are not in Christ. John 14:6, says "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If this porn star who committed suicide last week did not turn from her sin and put her faith in Jesus Christ, to put it bluntly, died in her sin. I will not make that certain judgement because I did not know her personally, but this is the standard for everyone. This should be a sobering reminder for believers and if you are an unbeliever, this should be eye opening moment.

This is a wake up call for anyone reading this. That porn star we view on our screens are lost souls who need the love of Christ, not our lust. They need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God to "remove the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh" Ezekiel 36:26. Until that day, believers, we must forsake the sin of lust and turn back to Christ who is the end-all-be-all. We must pray for these porn stars who are trapped in this industry. We must stop viewing open caskets of spiritually dead, and lost souls, and we must get down on our knees and pray for them. No one is out of reach for our God. He is the Alpha and Omega, no one is too far gone for Him. Close the caskets, beloved, and start praying for Lazarus moments in the porn industry.  

7 Scriptures To Help You Walk in the Fear of the Lord

7 Scriptures To Help You Walk in the Fear of the Lord

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One of the most valuable attributes the Christian can have is the fear of the Lord, but what is it exactly? And how does one get it? In this exposition I want to share 7 Scriptures on this valuable treasure. Let me just say that Holy Writ is exhaustive on this topic so I will not be able to cover it all, but hopefully this will serve as a tool to help you dig into an essential doctrine of the Christian faith.

  1. We have to begin with the Proverb from King Solomon, son of David. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭ Here we have the foundation of all wisdom. If anyone desires to be wise, they must have the fear of the Lord.
     
  2. Again, one might wonder how they can obtain this treasure and quite simply: it must be taught to you. The Holy Spirit, through His servant-king David tells us: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Ps. 34:11‬ ‭In order to be taught, we must be teachable, willing to learn and understand that as much we think we know, we have much more to learn; only to discover we truly know nothing as we should.
     
  3. Jesus teaches us the fear of God as well: “"I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Luke‬ ‭12:4-5‬ ‭Typically when one thinks of the fear of God, it’s in reference to reverential fear- but this is another element to consider.
     
  4. The LORD declares through His Prophet Isaiah that He ought to be the object of the people’s fear: “"It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.” Isaiah‬ ‭8:13‬ ‭No need to fear man. No need to fear the future. Only fear God.
     
  5. Apostle Paul uses the Greek word “phobon” to describe what Scripture calls “the terror of the Lord.” “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” 2 Cor.‬ ‭5:11.
     
  6. We have such great confidence and reassurance when walking in the Fear of the Lord. The Psalmist again tells us, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” Psalms‬ ‭34:7‬ ‭The fear of the Lord is a hedge of protection, a refuge that shields us from the evil one. I’m sure this is why Job was always protected, because he feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:2).
     
  7. Fearing God and hating evil go hand-in-hand.“By loving-kindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” Prov. 16:6‬ ‭To fear God is to know God and to know God is to love God and to love God is hate evil, especially our own.

“IT” is Sin

“IT” is Sin

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Recently, the reboot of Stephen King’s “IT” released and took the nation by storm as it was #1 in the box office, and I admit that I contributed to this by seeing it (no pun intended).

According to IMDb, “IT” is a shape-shifting demon (I agree with this notion), while others have said “IT” was merely a man. First and foremost, let me just say that this post is not an endorsement or a recommendation to watch the movie, but if you decide to see it or already have, there’s no judgment here.

IT in a Nutshell

Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare -- an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town's children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.”

Pennywise was left to reign in the sewer grates in the city of Derry for hundreds of years until some kids chose to stand up.

Now for a moment let’s picture this demon-clown as being the sin that so easily ensnares us.

Are you allowing sin to reign in our life, or by the power of the Spirit, do we put it to death?

As the citizens of Derry allowed this creature to feed off the fears of helpless children, the body count went up and once it had its fill, it would retreat for next 27 years.

The Nature of Sin

Here is the nature of sin: it desires to reign in your body and even more so, kill you. As Christians, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to sin, but it is the daily duty of every Believer to kill our sin nature or else, we will die (Rom. 8:12).

Matthew Henry once said, “It is the pleasing, and serving, and gratifying, of the flesh, that are the ruin of souls; that is, the second death.”

The Remedy for IT

  1. We are to “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16).
  2. “Put on Christ” (Rom. 13:14).
  3. “Put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).

Are you allowing sin to reign in your life? Let today be the day you also take a stand, and kill sin before IT kills you (again, no pun intended).

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A Great Christ For My Need

A Great Christ For My Need

Sin separates. Our ancestors Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect fellowship with God until sin crept in. The serpent beguiled Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in which she convinced Adam to do the same and from that point on. . .