Christian Charity and Immigration

I have been unusually silent on the subject of immigration, and specifically the issue of aiding refugees who, finding themselves in a desperate situation, want to suddenly emigrate from their native lands by the hundreds of thousands.  In our current events, this means Syrian refugees.  But I also want to address long-standing immigration from our border country of Mexico and other Latin American neighbors.

God has finally given me an understanding of some of the Truth in this matter, in general, and an understanding of how to reconcile living a Christian life while still having safe boundaries, and borders.  I am not a political expert but I don’t believe I need to be.  I am an expert on living with God daily, discerning the truth of His word, and living it out in my life.

In the Great Commission, Christ calls us to go forth and make disciples of all the nations.  Jesus sent His disciples out two by two to preach the gospel taught to them by Him.  He reminds us to love God and love our neighbor.  He illustrates that our neighbor may be an enemy, but if we come upon him and he is in danger, to take care of him like our own family member (the Good Samaritan story).  In the Book of Luke, Jesus also reminds you to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you; and if someone strikes you, to allow him to strike you again, and to give to everyone who asks of you.

In all of these examples, we go forth.  Poor people or the oppressed don’t usually have occasion or means to travel very far.  The Israelites took 40 years to enter the Promised Land which was adjacent to Egypt, where they had been enslaved.  No one went and got them and carted them into the Promised Land.  They were led there by God, on their own, and defeated their enemies because of God’s favor.  In the Book of Luke reference, if we are individually approached to help another human being, we are commanded to do so, but as an individual, not as a government.  If we choose to travel to another land, then we should be ready to help the people we commune with and among, which is what a missionary does, or a humanitarian relief worker.

When in Acts chapter 3 Peter and John came into the presence of the lame man outside the synagogue in Jerusalem, he asked for alms, and he looked to them to be handed alms, but because they did not have silver or gold, they gave him the blessing of the Spirit of Jesus, and lifted him up for he could then walk.  They could not give him what they did not have, but a blessing in Jesus’ name was better than monetary gifts of any kind!

When other cultures are in trouble and look to us for help, we cannot give them what we do not have (monetary resources), but we can always bless them with the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  If we choose to go to their land, we are commanded to live among them and make believers of them.  We are not commanded to steal gold (make money we do not have) so that we can go after them to bring them to our country, or pay millions of dollars to ‘save’ them!

Furthermore, when peoples have diametrically opposed beliefs to our chosen way of life, which is overall, ‘One Nation Under God,’ we have a responsibility to move away, to keep ourselves far from a false matter, and to avoid them, all of which are biblical commands.  Saint Paul states in Romans Chapter 16:

Romans 16:17-20New King James Version (NKJV)

Avoid Divisive Persons

17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus[a] Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The special interests that influence our government to act contrary to not only Americans’ best interests, but also biblical theology, are surely serving the world and not God, because if anyone is a friend of the world, he is an enemy of God:

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  ~James 4:4

The Farm in Tennessee was a commune that got started in the hippie era of the 70’s.  In the 80’s, many poor people migrated to The Farm for various reasons no doubt in part because they heard no one was turned away.  As part of the Farm’s doctrine in that day, families on the Farm opened their homes and larders to all these strangers who poured in.  Soon all the longstanding Farm families began to starve and the children went without shoes in the Winter.  Many did not work or worked at jobs with no monetary pay, and could not buy necessary resources.  Finally, when the leader was out of town, the rest of the group led a coup to overthrow him!  It seems on the surface that he was leading them to  do God’s will by sharing all they had, and to open up completely to them, but how can it be God’s will that all should starve because of lack?  Instead, the poor need to stay where they are and make the best of their situation where they are, or rely on an individual to help them, or go forth in faith relying only on God, not others, to save them.

When the poor and oppressed descend in droves upon a group of people who are not very stable themselves, financial decline and poverty will ensue.  This also happened in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when the poor of New Orleans emigrated to cities in Texas.  While Texans and other states’ citizens opened their towns to receive them, they might not have known that crime rates would dramatically rise and the way of life they had previously enjoyed would decline, but that is exactly what has happened in those places.

It is not our duty in any way as a nation to provide for refugees in other countries, to bring them to our country, or to pay for their life once here.  At the same time, our country was given to us by God and is founded on His principles.  We should not exclude brethren who desperately want to come here and be a part of our way of life, in every way.  It is not that we earned our land, but that He blessed us with it, and will do so only as long as we live according to His will and word.  Brethren should not come here to live as liabilities, but as assets, contributing at least as much as they take, if not more.

Reasonable measures should be taken to protect what God has blessed us with, and to be good stewards of it.  Not everyone can, nor should, live here.  God provides even the swallows with a nest, and how much more will He provide a man a home, if that man follows Him and listens to His word.

The cold reality that many soft-hearted Americans and Westerners do not want to face is that most people will choose to not follow God and in so doing will choose the path of destruction.  We can not let our eye pity these people to pervert justice, but press on sharing the gospel with those who DO want to hear it.  We have to stand for something, lest we fall for anything, and our republic already chose to stand ‘under God‘.

Amen.

He Sympathizes with Our Pain

I was talking to God last night when I couldn’t sleep and I was relating my sadness to Him like this, “You know, LORD, what it feels like to carry a child inside you for so long, birth it, love it, nurture it, and teach it?  You have automatic unconditional love for that child.  Then to have that child shun you and reject you, not believe in you at all, and walk an entirely different direction away from you in their life?

And then I felt Him looking at me with compassion and I saw in His heart that He knows exactly how that feels because He endures it every day since He created man.  I have 5 children who shun me.  He has 5 billion who shun Him.  For,

“…wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  ~Matthew 7:13-14

God knows exactly how I feel.  What’s more, if His children can shun Him as the Perfect and Loving Father that He is, how much more can mine shun me as a sinful woman?

I chose to mate with a man who was taught about God and who shunned God, as I myself had shunned God.  I forced us to have children even when God was not blessing us with them.  I built a life upon the shifting sand with this man and in the end I lost my children and everything I created with him.  I thought I knew many things.  But in the end only God matters.  He is the rock upon which everything should be founded, and if we choose to build outside the Rock, then we should not be surprised by the outcome.

It is a heart-wrenching thing to watch the humans you love most turn their back on Life, knowing that they are headed for certain destruction.  But God does this every day and understands.  And that gives me a certain comfort.  <3

Praise you LORD for understanding first-hand the source of our grief.  ~selah

Once Saved, NOT Always Saved

I disagree with the Baptist tenet of ‘once saved, always saved’, and have for a while now.  The Baptists cite Calvin and other church leaders in supporting this false doctrine, but they do not have any clear references to biblical origin in their arguments.

Just because one becomes born again in the Spirit, does not mean that he will abide in the Spirit, any more than Adam abode in the Spirit while he lived in Paradise, even though the Spirit Himself walked among Adam and Eve.  Adam and Eve were literally born into the Spirit (as we are now born into the flesh), yet they fell away and found death.   As Adam was cast out to certain death, so is anyone else who falls away from Christ, even who at one time-as Adam-was born into the very same Godly Spirit.

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”  Blasphemy means to commit an act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things.  To blaspheme means to speak disrespectfully about God.  But only blasphemy of the Spirit will not be forgiven.  What is the Spirit?  It is the living Christ, as explained in the gospel of John:  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (~John 14:26)

So the Spirit is always among us and never leaves nor forsakes us, but we can blaspheme the Spirit, and fall from grace.  It is a matter of ongoing, daily faith that determines whether we are saved.  God does promise us in John 3:16, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  ‘Believes’ is a present tense verb, which means we must choose to believe in Jesus as Christ every day, every moment.  If once we were saved, we were always saved no matter what, this verse would be written with the word ‘believed’!  Furthermore, Jesus said also, ‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.’  (~John 15:4).  So it takes constant belief and faith in Christ to remain in salvation, and it takes abiding in the Holy Spirit to produce life.

Abide means:  to wait for, to endure without yielding, to bear patiently, to accept without objection, to remain stable or fixed in a state, to continue in a place, and to conform to.  Abide is also a present tense verb.  To abide means to stay under the gift of His blood, and in our heart to want to be with Him.  Believing and abiding happen with a right heart, led by the Spirit and not by the flesh.  If someone has fallen away to the point of following their flesh, they are not guaranteed eternal salvation through the scriptures, because they are believing and abiding in their flesh, not Jesus Christ.  Abiding in Christ on a daily basis, or living corum deo, makes it hard for us to sin, because God, through the Helping Spirit, will guide our paths and make us to go straight.

Paul states in Romans 11:23 how the Jews were considered first for the salvatory gift of Christ, but when they did not believe in Christ, God reached out to the Gentiles, as related in the Old Testament.  It was because of the Jews’ unbelief that they fell from God’s goodness (Romans 11:22), yet they can be grafted in again, if they choose to believe:

“And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.”

There is really no ‘lukewarm’ Christian.  You are either in Life or in Death.  Headed for Heaven or Hell.  Jesus said lukewarm Christians were to be spat out:

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”  ~Revelation 3:15-21

We must be zealous and dine daily with Christ.  Instead, if we choose to dine with whose who shun our Lord and continue in their worldly ways in blindness, and believe ourselves to be saved, we are ultimately headed for certain rejection, even if we at one time believed.  We have fallen asleep.  Again, Saint Paul clearly states in the following passage how falling asleep in Christ invites final judgment upon those guilty of such a thing, just as if they were part of the world all along:

“Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.” ~1 Corinthians 11:27-32

I suspect this notion of ‘once saved, always saved’ is simply a ploy of the devil to trick Christians into complacency regarding their salvation.  Think about it.  We are commanded to lovingly rebuke our fellow brethren if we see them sinning, yet our Christian culture is trending toward the opposite attitude now, one of complacent non-judgment.  Christians are reticent to get in each other’s business following the worldly attitude of, ‘It’s all good.’  Except affixing to the end of that ‘In Christ.’ ‘ It’s all good, in Christ’.  And because most Christians buy into the false doctrine of ‘once saved, always saved’, they look upon each other as living ‘in Christ’, when their neighbor may really be living in ‘the world’.  In other words, in not wanting to be ‘judgmental’ we let our fellow brethren be lulled to sleep by the devil and fall asleep in Christ, thinking that they will be granted eternal life anyway.

This is a sin on our part.  We must understand that anyone who does not daily believe in Christ and live out God’s love has fallen asleep in Christ and is as good as dead until they are awakened, which we must try to do.  We can only try.  If they will not listen, we are commanded to move on and share the gospel with someone who will listen.

Therefore to fall into disbelief is to fall from the grace in Christ Jesus, and to stop abiding in Him is to die.  And if one gets to the point of blaspheming the Spirit, he will find himself in an unforgivable state (these people are beyond hope or salvation, though some pastors argue to the contrary).  Salvation is a gift given to God’s chosen ones through justification in Christ.  To be justified by Christ, one must believe in Him and abide in Him.  This is an ongoing pursuit, and not a one-time event.

 

~selah

 

Give to Everyone Who Asks of You~

Love Your Enemies

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.”  ~Jesus, from Luke 6:27-30

The Force Invisible

I am a force which is invisible.  I shape lives and then am forgotten.  I move in, do something for Him, then am beckoned on.  No one keeps me and I don’t stay.  No one understands me, not truly.  Only Him.  People try to apply worldly rules to me and they don’t fit.  I am otherworldly and … invisible.