The Holy Spirit & Your Salvation

No one can enter into the kingdom of God by being religious. They must be born again. A guy in John three by the name of Nicodemus discovered this. He was a Pharisee. A devoutly religious man who believed in the resurrection of the dead and the immortality of the soul. He would also have the responsibility of teaching others the way of God. One night as John recorded it, Nicodemus came to Jesus, as to not be seen, to say, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him" (John 3:2).

    Interestingly enough, Jesus just outright made this statement, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (3:3). Why would a religious guy be going to Jesus in the cover of night? Why would Jesus begin his conversation with Nicodemus not with a hello but a statement like he made? First, I think Nicodemus did not want to be seen by his fellow Pharisees who disliked…

The Holy Spirit & Worship

It is an unfortunate circumstance that the church is divided as it is today in regard to music. However, it is nothing new. Just check out Ed Stetzer's blog to get a brief rundown on the division that has occurred over the years in the history of the church:

     Astonishingly at one time our beloved hymns were at one point thought to be 'worldly' and was termed contemporary. Many ignore this fact. We have forgotten that all things known today was at one point new.

     Charles R. Swindoll wrote a book that is a fascinating read. Recommend it to all. It is called 'The Church Awakening.' I find it encouraging, saddening and challenging. Great book. Anyhow, he wrote a chapter in the book called 'Worship: A Commitment...Not A war'. In it he identifies three area's that fuels 'worship wars', as he coined it, in America's churches. I'd like to give those to…

Weeping and Shouting.

Whenever there is a new work being done on something old there will be the sound of joy by some and weeping by others. When work began on the rebuilding of the temple in Judah there were two different generations working on the project, both young and old, the older had seen the temple before it's destruction from Nebuchadnezzar and the younger generation had not. It is recorded in Ezra 3:8-13 that when the foundation of the temple was laid "all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid" (11). There is one population that did not shout, the older group who had seen the temple before hand, they "wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid" (12).

   On the other side of the spectrum Ezra noted that the younger population "shouted aloud for joy" (12). The old were weeping and the young were joyfully shouting. The result was that the peopl…

Frustrating God's Purpose

There came a time for the people of Judah that they would not listen to God. They stiffened their necks and hardened their hearts to Him. Even the priests of God were unfaithful and the temple of God, the temple Solomon had built years ago, had become polluted with idols. God could have just destroyed them. Instead, He had compassion on them, sending messengers to get them to turn back to Him, but they did not listen and mocked His messengers. Thus, God sent Nebuchadnezzar, the temple was destroyed, the walls of Jerusalem broken down and Judah spent the next 70 years in Babylonian captivity. 
   After 70 years, according to the word God spoken through Jeremiah, God stirred up King Cyrus of Persia's heart to rebuild the temple in Judah. A man named Ezra, a Jewish scribe, was the man who lead the charge for the rebuilding of this temple. It was no easy task. There are always going to be people trying to discourage us and frustrate us from the purpose which God has put in our hear…

Suffering Can Lead Us To Know God.

There was a king, his name was Manasseh, and he began to reign at the age of twelve in Judah. He was an evil king in the sight of God, doing things of evil according to the nations God had driven out in the days of Moses and Joshua, and to be true the evil he committed was worse than those nations according to 2 Chronicles 32:9, it states, he "did more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed." God sent prophets to warn Manasseh and he paid no attention. As a result God sends the Assyrian army to Judah and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with chains of bronze and carried him to Babylon. Sounds bad, but that is what it took for Manasseh to change his ways.

   According to 2 Chronicles 33:12, Manasseh "was in distress" and he "entreated the favor of the LORD his God". It took great pain, anxiety, sorrow, physical and mental suffering for Manasseh to beseech the LORD. As with many a man, he had to suffer before ever earnestly seeking God…

A Story About How Blessings From God Lead To One Man's Destruction.

King Uzziah of Judah did what was right in the eyes of God. During the days of Zechariah, Uzziah sought God and Zechariah the prophet instructed him in the fear of God. As a result, King Uzziah prospered at the hand of God, as long as he sought Him.

   God helped Uzziah and Uzziah grew strong, but with time his fame and his strength was his fall. As it is recorded in 2 Chronicles 26:16, "when he was strong, he grew proud." As king Uzziah became competent, powerful in influence, powerful in authority, powerful in resources and a great force, and experiencing great success, he also gained a superiority of himself. Pride often comes from or proceeds from a high opinion of one's own dignity, which in Uzziah's case, stemmed from the fame spread about him. Without his strength, he would not be famous. If he were not influential and powerful as he was, there would be no fame to be had.

    The Scripture clearly states that "God made him prosper" and that  &quo…

Why Preachers Are Needed.

People need a prophet. The world needs preachers. Minister's of God's word are a necessity to society, no matter what society may believe.  Without someone to speak God's word how will people know how to live? If there is no one to proclaim His word how will people know truth? Without God's word being spoke how will man know what to obey? And even if they are told and choose not to listen, at least they have heard.

   When I read the story of King Joash, I am more in awe of the priest Jehoiada in 2 Chronicles 24. Jehoiada was very accomplished and influential. He helped put Joash on the throne, he was the rightful king of Judah. He lead the charge in getting rid of that evil queen Athaliah. we discover that Jehoiada lead the charge in reformation, that is, getting rid of the Baals and idols, so that Judah might return to God.

   It is recorded in 2 Chronicles 24:2 that "Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest".

A Short Lesson From The Life Of King Asa

There is a big difference between 2 Chronicles 15 and 16 regarding King Asa. In 2 Chronicles 15 King Asa reformed Israel, something not done since Samuel the prophet. He caused everyone to enter into a covenant to seek the LORD and anyone not doing so should be put to death. Asa was a man whose heart was wholly true most of his days.
   In the last years of his life everything changed. He began to rely on man more than God. King Baasha come against Asa and instead of relying on God, he relied on the King of Syria. This is what God said to Asa, "Because you relied on the King of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the King of Syria has escaped you." (2 Chron. 16:7)
   Surely God wants His children to rely on Him and not our fellow man. It pleases God when we depend confidently on Him. In a time before, when Asa put his trust in God, because there was big army against him, God gave handed that army to Asa. When we rely on God we have victory.
   God is…

God will be found by you if you seek Him.

I often here of a statement made, heard it just the other day actually, it goes like this, "God will never leave you nor forsake you". For the longest time I have made that same statement my-self. It is a statement that is common in the church. However it is not a statement that is true, not matter how much of a good statement it is.

   There a came a time in ancient Israel that an individual by the name Asa rose to become king of Judah. He started off very well. In fact, 2 Chronicles 14:2 records that in the eye's of God Asa did what was good and right. Israel was coming out of a time of idolatrous worship lead by the former king of Judah, Abijah, and now Asa was leading the charge to reformation. That is, Asa was restoring the covenant between Israel and God, that Israel would seek the LORD with all their heart and all their soul, and whoever would not do this would be put to death. The former altars of false gods were destroyed.

   At one point the Spirit of God ca…

Does God Dwell In Temples Built By Men?

"But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built." - 2 Chronicles 6:18
It was in the heart of King David once to build a temple for the LORD his God. A noble desire indeed. However, it was not for David to build the temple according to the LORD, God had ordained Solomon to do such an act. And when the temple of God was completed, King Solomon lead Israel in a prayer of dedication. A statement of that prayer is 2 Chronicles 6:18.
    King Solomon begins with a question, "But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth"? Rephrasing the question would go like this, will the Creator of heaven and earth dwell with man? Is it the desire of the Creator to dwell with His creation on the planet of which He created? Would the Creator wish to live, stay or remain permanently with those who are created in His image in a place that He created from things unseen and now filled wi…