The Offense Of The Cross
Galatians 5:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.
The cross represents the true Christian Church. The symbol is on and/or in every church. Then there is the Red Cross organization, people wear the cross, it is placed on cars, and on Bibles. Christ’s pulpit is often in the shape of a cross. The event of the cross is the foundation of our faith. For the Christian, the cross alone is our theology. The knowledge of God comes through the crucified Christ. Love outside of the cross is really not God’s love – we learn of God’s love through the cross, and not by any other means. Worldlings follow horoscopes. The cross is the sign of a believer. The world sees the cross through good Friday alone. The believer sees the cross through Easter Sunday and Resurrection Day. The cross is a mystery and a paradox. Just as Jesus was crucified and resurrected, we now struggle and bear our cross. Believers will have our resurrection later. The resurrection is life through death, strength through weakness, hope through despair, recovery through loss, suffering, folly, persecution, and joy through sorrow. For Paul, the scandal of the cross dominates the believer’s life. The cross stands before those who say the Christian life is a bowl of cherries. Following Jesus is sharing His suffering. There is no by passing rejection and death, to eternal life and the glory of the risen Christ. There is no “pie in the sky / you can have it all now” Christianity. Suffering, humiliation, and rejection are hallmarks of our faith, and evidence of true discipleship. The cross of Christ is forsaking everything and clinging to Christ alone. It is the center of God’s truth revealed to man. But to many,
the cross is an offense: Offense comes from the Greek word- scandalon, from which we get the word scandal.
Jesus said, “If you are going to follow me, you have to take up the cross.” Today we might say “…take up your gas chamber or electric chair.” We must die to self before Christ can reign in our hearts. In our scripture text, the Judaizers, through the works of circumcision, sought to rob Christians of their freedom in Christ. Legalists always avoid the themes of persecution and “the offense of the cross,” by insisting on circumcision and law-keeping. If Paul preached legalism, he would not be persecuted. Circumcision and the cross are opposed – Paul could not preach both – if he did – the offense of the cross would cease. The “offense” is the foolishness and stumbling block of the cross. The cross uproots the doctrine of salvation by human merit. Salvation is through grace alone – and there can be no compromise. The offensiveness of the cross to self righteous legalists is that salvation is by grace without circumcision and obedience to the law. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9) One work added to the cross perverts it all!
Hugh Hefner may be best described as the founder of a pornographic empire, and one who lived the Epicurean lifestyle to the hilt. Eeh Christian mates, where do you think this bloke is going to spend eternity? I do not mean to judge, but with no given evidence of repentance, I do not believe his passing has increased the population of heaven. I also do not believe there is another human being in our nation who has done more to promote lust, exploitation and sexual sin. There are only a few Americans who when mentioned, quickly turn my stomach. Hugh Hefner is one, Madalyn Murray O’Hair is another. They will both receive their just rewards. -Pastor Steve
Galatians 6:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine and star of E! reality show The Girls Next Door, has died, PEOPLE confirms. He was 91.
Born Hugh Marston Hefner on April 9, 1926 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Grace Caroline and Glenn Lucius Hefner, the businessman died on Wednesday.
“Hugh M. Hefner, the American icon who in 1953 introduced the world to Playboy magazine and built the company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, peacefully passed away today from natural causes at his home, The Playboy Mansion, surrounded by loved ones,” a rep for the Playboy Enterprises founder said in a statement to PEOPLE.
— Playboy (@Playboy) September 28, 2017
You may think Hugh Hefner’s alleged debauchery is an exaggeration because we have grown so used to it. Our nation was largely morally pure going into the early 1950’s. Hefner’s magazine found its way into the homes of countless Americans, mostly men of course, and the perverted became the norm as he played on man’s baser, fallen instincts. Fathers may have hid the magazines but their sons soon found them and shared with their friends. After a saturation of this, a woman will eventually be seen as a sex object alone. Other magazines, even more pornographic than Playboy were later birthed, like Penthouse, Oui, and a host of others. Our entire culture has gradually become so sex crazed, and we have not even realized it, because we have grown accustomed to the dark. Now, pornography is replete on line, and there is so much of it that it cannot all be accounted for! This all contributed to the destruction of the American family, and the domino/ripple effect, has totally destroyed the moral fabric of this nation. For instance, sixty million abortions are the result of an immoral people who desire recreational sex, usually outside of marriage, and then they dispose of the unwanted baby through murder. The Playboy philosophy and mindset has gone to newspaper articles, books, periodicals, television sitcoms, movies, billboards, posters, and it has gone viral on line. Yes, in my humble opinion, Hugh Hefner will go down as one of the most ignominious names in American history. In His Service, Pastor Steve
Dr. Gary Frazier ~ Interview / Hagmann & Hagmann
Dr. Gary Frazier wrote “Hell Is For Real,” and “It Could Happen Tomorrow.” Gary has been to Israel over 180 times. Gary filmed a six and one half hour DVD throughout Israel for people who will never be able to go there. Gary has met several Prime Ministers of Israel, and they all realize that evangelical Christians are the best friends that Israel has. Many Israelites are also becoming more aware of their role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and the Abrahamic Covenant.
Doug Hagmann asked Gary Frazier: “If this was the last time you knew you would be on camera, what would you say?” Gary’s response: “That God so loved the world that He gave His son, and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is a reality for those who care to indulge in the facts of the matter. The truth is that Jesus gave Himself for every single person, and if this was his last opportunity to say anything he would say eternity is too long to be wrong. Use today to make a commitment to Jesus Christ. He loves who you are and where you are in life. When you surrender to Him, He will change you and in this process He will make you into His image. He takes us and makes us more like Him, He forgives us for our sins, and gives us a passion for other people. We were on our way to hell but by the Providence of God, He has forever changed our lives, and we have purpose in our lives and we are not just drifting aimlessly. We have free will. We can be forgiven of our sins and stand clean before God, restored and having a confidence in God, and then knowing that I am a sinner who has been saved by the miraculous grace of God, and my sins have been washed away by the shed blood of the Lamb of God. Pray to receive Christ and He will come into your heart.”
When you become saved, Satan and the demons of hell will attempt to get you to doubt your conversion. We must believe what the Word of God tells us: “That we are declared victorious and we are conquerors in Christ, and that neither death nor life nor powers nor principalities nor angels neither height nor depth nor any other thing can separate us from Christ Jesus.” Do not think about yourself as you were, do not think about yourself as someone who says what you are, understand who you are in Christ Jesus. You are saved, you are born again, you are on the narrow road that goes to heaven. You are not perfect but you are forgiven. Like Paul, we all suffer for doing the things we should not do, and not doing the things we should. Remember, we lose some fights and win other fights, but the ultimate war has already been won. I John 1:9 is the Christians’ bar of soap: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We continually become convicted over our sins, and this is followed by our confession and repentance. What we want to do is to continually get back on track. In order to become a child of God, one must be born again. Continually confess your sins, hear God’s Word and obey Him.
Why Gary wrote “Hell Is For Real” – Less than one half of one percent of people believe they are going to hell. Satan has done a masterful job at taking the fear away of standing in judgment before God. God attempts to draw lost sinners to Himself, but there is a time when God will stop calling you. The unpardonable sin, is when God continually calls us and we say no. We may not even realize that we crossed the line and no longer have any chance of salvation.
Some people think a personal relationship with God is something only theologians can comprehend. Actually, God’s plan of salvation is simple enough for everyone to understand. Here are the ABCs of salvation.
Admit to God that you are a sinner. All persons need salvation. Each of us has a problem the Bible calls sin. Sin is a refusal to acknowledge God’s authority over our lives. Everyone who does not live a life of perfect obedience to the Lord is guilty of sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Since none of us is perfect, all of us are sinners (Romans 3:10-18).
The result of sin is spiritual death (Romans 6:23). Spiritual death means eternal separation from God. By God’s perfect standard we are guilty of sin and therefore subject to the punishment for sin, which is separation from God. Admitting that you are a sinner and separated from God is the first step of repentance, which is turning from sin and self and turning toward God.
Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son and receive Jesus’ gift of forgiveness from sin. God loves each of us. God offers us salvation. Although we have done nothing to deserve His love and salvation, God wants to save us. In the death of Jesus on the cross, God provided salvation for all who would repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord to others. After you have received Jesus Christ into your life, share your decision with another person. Tell your pastor or a Christian friend about your decision. Following Christ’s example, ask for baptism by immersion in your local church as a public expression of your faith. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
-taken from Open Windows devotional (LifeWay), Summer 2017
When a nation plummets into gross immorality and apostasy, God will use the most unlikely of sources to expose the current form of anemic “Christianity” in America. The following article is what one might call a “Wake Up Call”:
A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors To Account
By Michael Brown/Ask Dr Brown May 10, 2017
Share this article:
If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest,
Dangerous Trends 2017
Disney Now Has Cartoon Showing Homosexuals Kissing
The popular children’s entertainment company Disney aired its first-ever same-sex kissing scene on [February 28] during a broadcast of its television cartoon Star vs. the Forces of Evil, raising concerns from Christian and family groups who are calling upon parents to kiss Disney goodbye….
Homosexual advocacy groups cheered the inclusion, stating, “We’re getting there, one kiss at a time.”
…However, others expressed concern, stating that Disney should not be pushing the homosexual agenda on children.
“This is the last place parents would expect their children to be confronted with content regarding sexual orientation,” One Million Moms wrote on their website….
Editor’s Comments: Again Disney is promoting an agenda that is antifamily. Parents should think twice about allowing their children to watch anything currently coming from them.
UK, Australia Won’t Fund Free Abortions After Trump Defunds International Planned Parenthood
The United Kingdom and Australia did not give money to a new global abortion fund [early March], despite intense pressure from abortion activists worldwide.
The new “She decides” abortion fund comes in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order prohibiting American taxpayer funding to groups that promote or perform abortions overseas.
USA Today reports representatives from more than 45 countries attended a meeting about the new abortion fund on [March 2] in Brussels, Belgium. About a dozen countries and several private donors pledged money totaling 181 million euros (about $190 million), according to the report.
While the UK and Australia sent representatives to the meeting, neither country promised money.
“Straight Pride” Fliers Removed From School
“Straight Pride” fliers were removed [March 3] by an Indiana high school before the students arrived [at] school. The 16-year-old….student who created and hung “Straight Pride” fliers in an Indiana high school has spoken out since officials took them down….and fellow students hosted a pro-acceptance gathering over the weekend in response to the incident.
The fliers ….read, “Celebrate being straight at JHS by not annoying the heck out of everyone about your sexual orientation!” along with “We are taking back the rainbow” and “Brought to you by all the students that are sick of hearing about your LGBT Pride.” -theblaze.com
Sixty percent of “millennials” are living with their parents or other relatives or are sharing living quarters with a roommate (USA Today, 3/21/17. Source, Trulia Analysis of Census data).
“Millennials” they call them. They’re between the ages of 18 and 35.
We will admit that certain circumstances in anybody’s family could create the necessity for staying at home. That could be true at almost any age, but 60 percent is three out of five. That’s a perplexing statistic.
Why aren’t these birds leaving the nest? Is it because they have not learned to fly? Have we failed to get them ready to make it on their own?
Financial issues will account for some of this; but knowing the way our society is being shaped, it is pretty clear that the bigger issue is young people who are unready to be adults.
Christian families need to be alert to how they are raising their offspring.
This article is another reason I believe this could be the terminal generation. Absolutely any people with convictions about anything whatsoever, will be able to supersede this clueless and feckless generation who lack personal values, integrity, and cannot even pull their own weight. Pastor Steve
An enemy said of Spurgeon, “Here is a man who has not moved an inch forward in all his ministry. At the close of the nineteenth century he is teaching the theology of the first century and is proclaiming doctrine current in Nazareth and Jerusalem in the first century!” Spurgeon considered it his greatest compliment.
What is the profit to America by having endless economic prosperity, computers and a hundred channels of television in every home…if our families are shattered and our children corrupted? -Former Senator Bill Armstrong
A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a devil. -James A. Garfield
I will blaze the trail, though my grave be only a steppingstone that younger men may follow and make Christ known where He is unknown. -C. T. Studd
Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and to bring Him nearer to our own image. A.W. Tozer
Perhaps you have never been stalked by a bloodthirsty beast of prey. Nevertheless, there is a wild beast on your trail. Swift and pitiless, retribution trails you. “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
I don’t want anybody falling over me into Hell, saying, “Brother Curtis preached it but didn’t practice it.” -Curtis Hutson
Remember, you are your own doctor when it comes to curing cold feet.
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke 22:15
Not “the” Passover but “this” Passover-the last Passover before the cross. The Lord fully knew what awaited Him after the supper; “before I suffer”. He knew all about the arrest, the unrighteous trial, the mockery, scourging, thorns, cross and death that loomed before Him. Yet there would be resurrection and joy too. But before all of that, He earnestly desired this last supper with His own. What about us? Our Lord is alive and today may we say to Him, “Lord, with desire have I desired to eat this supper, to remember you, thank you, and worship you. -Carl Knott
Break ye the bread and pour the wine, as ye have seen your Master do; This body and this blood of Mine, is broken and shed for you. -John Pierpont
Because of God’s love, we are never truly alone.
INSIGHT: The circumstances that took place on the night of Jesus’s betrayal seemed to be confused, chaotic, and out of control. But our Lord’s measured words in facing His betrayer showed His understanding of the big picture of God’s sovereign plan. Without the cross we could not be redeemed. Dennis Fisher
My favorite all time quotation of Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
A quote from Charles Spurgeon on the unmatched-supremacy of the gospel of Jesus Christ:
Oh! down, down, down, with everything else, but up, up, up, with the cross of Christ! Down with your baptism, and your masses, and your sacraments! Down with your priestcraft, and your rituals, and your liturgies! Down with your fine music, and your pomp, and your robes, and your garments, and all your ceremonials. But up, up, up, with the doctrine of the naked cross, and the expiring Saviour. Let the voice ring throughout the whole world, “Look unto Me and live!” There is life in a look at the Crucified One!
~Charles Spurgeon (Christ, The Glory Of His People 826.464)