To Act or Not: Part 2

Actsgathering3Is it appropriate to attempt to be an “Acts Church” today by using the book of Acts as a guide?
Yes and No… let me explain. Certainly the ten points I outlined in the last post will be a great resource to follow and I support the use of them. In fact our churches won’t be too successful without doing those 10 things. So yes, I say we should follow the guide and do our best to carry it out. We need to keep in mind however the differences in culture and their community compared to ours. Without intense study of the culture in Jerusalem at that time in history it would be impossible to understand the vast differences. The response to leadership was different and some things done today were completely forbidden. There was also specific revelation occurring from God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The early converts were praying like we can’t even imagine and God was responding. I believe this issue of prayer is one of our problems but that is another subject. ActsChurchThe early church was almost completely a made up of Jewish people before it spread to the Gentiles. (Officially in Acts 15) Our community is much more diverse. Things were done much different back then compared to now and the world mindset was different. I remember a guy saying to me, “Ok, that was the church for then but I want to experience our church for now.” We can be an Acts church but must modify for our contemporary times. It would be impossible to do everything exactly as the Apostles did in the early church.
Secondly I think there is more that God wants us to follow and the Bible provides it. I think if we add Ephesians to the Acts Church we have a winner of a blueprint to work from. We must not exclude the teachings of Timothy, Titus and others.
We know that the primary job of the Church is the ‘Great Commission’ of Matthew 28:16-20) which theoretically is a three part process. One is to make disciples, second is to baptize them, and third we must, “teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” The Church leaders must see to it that disciples are being made. It is their our principle responsibility.
How are disciples made? They are created through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone does not do the same job in the process. Some disciple, some evangelize, some teach, etc… No need to feel guilt if you can’t do everything well. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-12)
A major part of the blueprint for Church today is Ephesians 4:10-16. The main function of the church leaders is to equip the saints for the work of service. And every Christian is a saint, just call me Saint Frank. Church leaders are to be intimately involved in equipping each and every saint. The body of Christ is built up through the process of equipping. So the purpose of leaders is to equip Christians for ministry and not to replace them. The purpose of equipping members for service is so the body can be built up and the ‘Unity of the Body’ can only be achieved through every Christian ministering and supplying the body. When each individual is functioning properly the body builds itself up in love and unity. It will be self-perpetuating because God guaranteed it. The bottom line is that Churches will grow when we as Christians use our Spiritual Gifts in service to the body of Christ.
We need to be careful because looking at other churches through the ages and how other people are doing things has led to decline in Christianity. Churches that are dying are usually mired in tradition or off the path and unwilling to change. We need to be looking at scripture and reading scripture. We need to also be on our knees in prayer. God’s word has all the answers and it is not only in the book of Acts. Albeit Acts is a great place to be and I don’t want to diminish its importance.
The basic point we must remember is that with a guide or not, the church is built up on disciples that are willing to take up their cross and die for the Lord if need be. (Matthew 16:24)
I think I will close with a thought on this church leadership issue: We will all stand before God some day and answer to Him. Many Church Leaders will stand before God and be asked what they were told to do and if they completed it. Many won’t know what He is talking about and won’t be able to say they obeyed. He will ask if they warned the disciples about their accountability for their instructions in the Word. Not many leaders are reading the Word of God any more. The wrath of God will be visited upon disobedient disciples, and will be visited upon negligent church leaders because it is their responsibility to, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:28-30) Church leadership comes with an awesome responsibility. Woe to those who scatter my sheep.
Blessings for your day through Christ,

The Tubthumper

  1 Stephen Parker, Church Growth Crisis: The Decline of Christianity in America (Oklahoma City, OK: Forever Family Publications, 2011).


To Act or Not: Should we use the Acts Church as the guide?

church-model080211A lot of people these days believe the church should be trying to do exactly what the early church did in Acts. This is actually where all the small group craze came from.  Much of the church growth movement is keyed on this principle as well. So do I think mimicking the Acts Church is how we should do things? Yes and no… You see, the Bible has a lot of information on what God wants the Church to do. We have Acts but we also have Ephesians, Timothy, Titus and more. Let us look at this closer beginning with some points about Acts.

There is no question , the early church gave a good model. Acts 2:47 says, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Some experts have estimated the church in Jerusalem had over 100,000 members. That is larger than many cities.

There are many important principles to follow for Church government. Here are ten examples:
1) Churches should rely on the Holy Spirit’s power. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Church members should have the Lord Jesus controlling their lives. They must let the Holy Spirit take control. Leaning on the Holy Spirit is mostly what is needed.
2) Churches today must nurture a warm fellowship. “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common.” (Acts 2:42-44) With a warm, loving and inviting environment new Christians can be loved and grow in the word.
3) Church members must meet together to study the Bible. “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) They used the temple courts and they met house to house. Both types of meetings occurred. So we must meet at church and we must break bread together and study in our homes.
4) Churches must expand the vision of God. He is in Control. “And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is.” (Acts 4:24) We already know the Church will survive and Satan is already defeated. Fear thou not because we have all the resources and strength we need. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Christ will build His church!
5) Churches must harness the power of prayer like they did in Acts. From the beginning there has been a spiritual battle going on. Spiritual battles are fought on our knees. Jesus said, “This house will be a house of prayer.” Our Church is to be a house of prayer. In Acts it says, “they prayed” 48 times. Churches need to pray like they prayed in Acts. Churches need God’s power to make us different from the world. (Acts 1:3-4, 14)
6) Churches should be united, generous, loving, and charitable. Our church should be a giving church. The church in Acts was a giving church. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold.” (Acts 4:32-34) We all need to be united and with one mind. Our church should be the place that the needy are cared for. We should learn how to sacrifice for others like the early church did. We should be a powerful testimony to our community. (Acts 2:44-45)
7) Churches must involve everyone in ministry. We find in Acts chapter 6 how this was done. The apostles found men that were specifically shaped and called for ministry. An example is ‘Greek men to minister to Greek widows.’ No one pastor can do everything. God and the Holy Spirit gifts the entire church. The Pastor feeds the flock through preaching and teaching. The rest is up to others. Our churches need to be able to help people discover their Spiritual gifts and then plug them in. The early church sent people out on mission is the community to add to the growth. Don’t allow people to come and just sit on the sidelines. Use the talents and gifts they bring. Not just any people can minister, however, as the position of Deacon is to be filled with men who are currently full of the Holy Spirit. Not one that was filled at one time, but one filled with the Holy Spirit now. Deacons can bless the body and they can bless the Elders by allowing the Elders to devote more time to the Bible and to prayer. Deacons are “hands on” – somewhat a “Buildings and Grounds” people. As they grow they could be appointed to Elder positions. God wants leaders full of the Holy Spirit, wisdom, unity, prayer and to stand in agreement. God raises these people up.
8) Churches need to read the Bible and be devoted to the word. It should be heard from the pulpit, it should be read, it should be memorized and it should be meditated on. The only thing that can change lives in our churches today is the Gospel and the Word of God. We need to be devoted to reading the Bible. (Acts 2:14-40)
9) Churches should love and worship with joy. In the early church they practiced Koinonia. What that means is they would fellowship with one another. They were committed to one another and loved one another. Our church members need to protect, care and help one another unlike the world. We also should celebrate Christ together. Church should be enjoyable and we should express our emotion in Church letting go and worshiping with joy. (Acts 2:42, 46-47)
10) Churches should be reaching out to the community for Jesus Christ. The early church reached people for Christ daily. “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:40-41) Evangelism is commanded and we are told to be a witness throughout the world.

Can it work to try and mimic the Acts Church? In the next post I will give you my opinion and expand on what I think we should doing with our church structure.

To go part 2 just click HERE. 

In Christ,

The Tubthumper



Steve Davis, Spiritual Leadership Examples from the Book of Acts.,
Rick Warren, How to Have an Acts Church, (accessed May 1, 2014).

Your Worst Enemy, Part 2


Part 2… Click here to start at beginning.

People are unaware and ignorant to his devices while this dirty fighting foe uses guerrilla warfare and is on our path every moment pursuing us. He is stalking every part of our households, he is walking the streets of our towns, he is present in many of our churches, he is in our courts and governments, he is seducing and deceiving, ruining body and soul of mankind, men, women and children, he is breaking up our families and sowing seeds of hatred, strife, evil and murder.  We see Satan’s damages all around us and yet we remain passive and almost regard them as normal.  The power to beat it is close at hand if we would just connect with it.

Satan continually seeks to overcome God’s people by working to break down the barriers that separate us from the world.  “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) If you haven’t decided to follow Christ and live under His laws then you are servant of Satan. Sorry to have to put it so bluntly but that is the truth. Those with an unregenerate heart have love of sin and a willingness to cherish it and excuse it away. Those that have turned to Christ have a renewed heart and a hatred of sin and should be determined to resist it.  When a Christian chooses to keep company with the ungodly and share in the ways of the world they expose themselves to great temptation.  Satan is hiding close by and he will work very hard to pull the wool over your eyes.  A continual indifference to the world will cause you to become more and more blinded to the assault.  We must be different. The world must be able to identify a difference between one who professes to be a child of God and one who does not.

By conforming to the world we have converted our churches to the world. You cannot convert the world to Christ by becoming more like them. We must be different. The more familiar you get with sin the more you will see it as acceptable and you will be lulled into a comfort zone around the master of evil.  If we knowingly place ourselves under temptation we will likely fall sooner or later.

Satan works most successfully through those who are least suspected of being under his control.  So he goes after those most admired and honored.  He uses anyone but specializes in going after the prize.  He goes after people with talent, education and culture.  These talents and qualities will grace the character of Christians and work in favor of true religion but they must be consecrated to God otherwise they become a powerful weapon for evil.  Many a man of intellect and polish has become an instrument of evil in the hands of Satan.  Remember the example of Solomon.  Solomon obtained the wisdom that earned him the wonder and admiration of the world.  Then he turned from his source of strength to rely upon himself and he became susceptible to temptation. This allowed the evil one to use this wise man more effectively to complete the evil mission.

Satan is working constantly to blind you to the fact that you, “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) And another warning, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) And, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Ever since the fall of Adam the enemy has been exercising his power to oppress and destroy all he can.  He is preparing right now for his biggest and his last campaign against the church of Christ.  Everyone who is seeking to follow Christ and regards themselves as a true child of the King will be in major conflict with this relentless enemy.  The more we try to be more like Christ, the more we will be in the cross-hairs of the sights in the attacks of Satan.  All of our people that are active in the cause of Christ will be able to join in the testimony of Paul, speaking of serving the LORD with all humility of mind, with many fears and temptations.

Satan attacked Jesus Christ with all he had.  He went at Christ with all the subtle temptations he could and the fiercest advances but Christ was repulsed at every conflict. The battles between Christ and Satan were fought on our behalf.  The victory of Christ made it possible for us to conquer as well.  Jesus Christ will provide strength to all who will seek it.  No man can ever be overcome by Satan without giving consent. Satan has no power to control your will.  He has no power to force you to sin.  He can distress you and he can tempt you or try to confuse you but he cannot overtake you without you giving the willful go ahead.  Satan can cause you a lot of agony but he can never defile you.  Christ has conquered Satan already.  This should give you the courage to fight on through the battle against sin and against the evil one.  You have the power to defeat your worst enemy!

Fight on…God bless you all,

‘The Tubthumper’


satan-3-by-jack-chickThe judge slammed his gavel on the podium and immediately pronounced the verdict and the sentence.  Guilty was the verdict and the sentence was divine and engaged all of mankind who should ever live upon the earth. The defendant and alleged offender was one named Satan, alias Beelzebub, Lucifer, Devil and Prince of this world.  The sentence which was pronounced quickly was, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  The judge, jury and executioner was, none other than the Great “I AM”, the creator of all and our LORD and savior.

Could this also be classified as prophecy?

This word, enmity means to create a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity or antagonism which is mutual to all parties. This enmity thing is not something that occurs naturally.  When Adam committed the transgression against the law that God had laid out he imposed upon all mankind an evil nature.  His actions placed us all in harmony with Satan when God’s intent was for us to be in opposition or difference.  Man, along with Satan became evil through an act of apostasy.   If God had not taken some severe action we would have been continuously united with Satan against God.

Satan worked over Eve with deception and then Eve became an accomplice to help move Adam into sin in a grand scheme to get full cooperation in warfare against God and His Kingdom.  When Satan heard the sentence of a declaration of enmity between himself and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, he understood that he had been had and that man would somehow he able to resist his powers.  Drat! Sassa-frassa-rassa he probably was muttering.  How could this happen?

This does not stop the evil one and only serves to slow him down.  Actually, the evil one thinks he will some-day win and steps up his efforts to try and win the next battle.  His fury is kindled like a camper throwing birch twigs on the hot coals of the smoldering fire.

God’s grace that he lovingly placed in the soul of man has given us enmity against Satan. Without the grace of God and His love and redemption mankind would be totally captive to Satan and we would all be servants to do his evil. The result is that in our souls there rages this conflict where before the fall of man once was a soul at complete peace.  For all that choose to access it we have the power of Jesus Christ that enables us to resist the efforts of the evil tyrant that lurks at every corner and is seeking us out. Through the love of Christ we can conquer the evil passions that draw us and we can abhor sin and flee from it.

When we look at how the world treated Jesus Christ we can see it as an example or picture of the type of antagonism or enmity existing between the Spirit of Christ and Satan. The Jews totally rejected Jesus.  His purity and His holiness drew out the hatred of all the ungodly around Him.  For a community of sensual and proud people the sinless life of self-denial that Jesus exhibited was too much for them to take.  Once again we saw this enmity. This time it was the Jews eliciting enmity with the Christ.  They would deny that Jesus was the messiah.  Satan found some companions with these evil men and they all joined together in apostasy to conspire against Jesus the Christ the Champion of Truth.

Please understand this very important point otherwise you will leave yourself open to destruction.  The very same enmity that was manifested toward Jesus Christ is and always will be manifested toward His followers.  Whoever is able to recognize sin for what it is and call upon the LORD for strength to resist the temptations will surely attract the attention of the evil one.  This battle between truth and evil will exist as long as sinners and sin remain part of the earth.  There will never be any harmony between Christ and anyone or anything that serves Satan.  The attack and persecution leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the Cross has not stopped. “Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Satan continues to fight and is constantly working to build up his kingdom in the battle against the Kingdom of God. There is and will be a constant attempt to deceive any of Christ’s followers and Satan would love nothing more than to lure you in and pull you away from your allegiance to Jesus Christ. He is always working to misconstrue and pervert the Scriptures to accomplish his objective. Satan is having a hay-day right now with all the false teachers and the preachers that are watering down and adding to scripture and not preaching the truth. These weak ones are falling into his hands.  There is a constant effort to malign God’s people just as there always has been since it was all foreshadowed in Genesis 3:15.  This enmity will continue until the rapture and the end of the battle in Revelation when Satan is cast into the lake of fire.

Satan continues to throw all the weight he can at us.  He puts his entire power into combat and the battle continues to rage.  The battle rages on because we do not connect with Christ the way He wants us to.  We cannot see sin as repulsive and as abhorrent as Christ did.  We cannot see it because we are not putting forth the effort to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  We are so removed from Christ we are destitute of the Holy Spirit. Most of us do not connect with the malignity and the expansion of sin and we are blind to the power and character of the prince of the world.  Mankind does not elicit enmity against Satan and his works because mankind is ignorant regarding his power and his malice.  We don’t grasp the vastness of his warfare against the Church of Christ and against Christ Himself.  The masses of our land are deluded and unaware.  Most are caught up in all the enjoyment of life and ignorant to the destruction around them.  Most don’t realize there is a mighty general of an evil army that has a massive attack plan with calculated maneuvers to war against Christ and to stop Him from saving souls.

How many times do you hear reference to Satan from professed Christians?  Not often.  Certainly not often enough!  What about the clergy in the pulpits these days? There is an occasional mention of the battle here and there but the evidence of his activity and success is not addressed in near comparison to the gravity of the situation. Most people are neglecting the warnings about the subtlety of Satan and most seem to ignore his very existence.  Most preachers of today wouldn’t touch the subject for fear of making some people feel uncomfortable.  Well guess what?  You should all be real uncomfortable!  The enemy is after your soul people.  He is out to kill you and your family.  Wake up!

Continued… in the next post.  Click here to go to part 2.


Have a Godly day,

‘The Tubthumper’

Blue and in Need of Rest

RestingI listened on two separate occasions in the last week from news sources that concerns are rising as to the health effects of Americans never taking a day to rest. It is common knowledge that we as a country work harder and longer than any other.  It was pointed out on these news clips that increased stress and other complications due to our hectic lifestyle is costing us in medical fees.

The American Psychological Association pointed out increased occurrences of financial and other recession-related difficulties, we Americans are struggling to balance work and home life and make time to engage in healthy behaviors, with stress not only taking a toll on our personal physical health, but also affecting the emotional and physical well-being of our families. The most common reason given by adults for not doing more to manage their stress was being too busy or not having enough time. We Americans also recognize that we are falling short in just about all areas of well-being, from the quality of our relationships with family and friends to getting enough sleep. It seems there is not enough will-power for Americans to stop on our own and rest up some.  The power of temptation and desire to keep up with the Jones takes over. Like the Eveready Bunny we last longer and longer and longer, so we think. Ask any physician and they will tell you that rest is essential for physical health. When the body is deprived of sleep, it is unable to rebuild and recharge itself adequately. Your body requires rest.

All this leads me to think about the Blue Laws.  A blue law is a type of law originally designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of a day of worship or rest. When I was a youngster and the cold war was in full swing you couldn’t do anything on Sunday’s except worship God and spend time with family resting.  What a novel idea.  Guess what? It worked so well that we as a nation gave it up. Like so many other things that worked well for families were given up.

What I remember back then is not being able to do or buy anything on Sunday.  All stores and businesses were closed. The Blue Laws have evolved over time, allowing for certain businesses to open their doors. Many of the laws were directly aimed at the sale of alcohol and what is commonly called adult beverages. Until 1991, no retail stores were allowed to open on Sundays.  Prior to 1967, nothing opened.  We were literally forced to spend time together, like it or not.  Sure, I got irritated at least once when I needed something and had to wait until Monday to get it. But you know what?  I got over it quite quickly and got on with life.  Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up tomorrow to a life somewhat like we once knew?

Why not revive an observance of the Sabbath to help our nation with its health?  You know what the Sabbath is right? After He created the world, God rested. He told His people to do the same thing, once a week. Then later Jesus Christ came to give us rest. And in the end, there’s an eternal Sabbath waiting for those who follow Him. Easy isn’t it?  In the early history of the Church, the first Christians observed the Sabbath.  We can find Biblical evidence such as Acts 3:1; 5:27-42; 21:18-26; 24:5; 24:14; 28:22. In the Old Testament we see that Moses established the law around the Sabbath. Anyone found desecrating the Sabbath was cutoff from society and put to death.  (Exodus 20: 8-11, 31:14-15, 34:21). This law was not an arbitrary command, but was based on us having been made in God’s image, God’s resting on the seventh day after creation, and his blessing the seventh day and making it holy. When we read Hebrews 4:8-11, we can see that keeping the Sabbath is an abiding duty as prescribed in the fourth commandment. Reading Luke 23:56 we get that when the body of Christ was being prepared by His followers, they rested on the Sabbath before finishing their work.

Some say the Blue Laws originated by the Puritans and came over with the Pilgrims thus that is how they got the start in our law books.  I am not sure of the origination but do know that the blue laws have covered a multitude of things that were prohibited on Sunday.  I also know that some blue laws are still currently in force.  The blue laws restrict activities or sales of goods on Sunday, to accommodate the Sabbath. The first blue law in the American colonies was enacted in Virginia in 1617. It required church attendance and authorized the militia to force colonists to attend church services. I doubt we will see the police forcing us to go to church anytime soon.  In fact, Hell would likely freeze over before that happens again.   I suppose if I moved to North Dakota I could see how it is still working there.   Virginia had a blue law they referred to as the day of rest law which entitled every employee to a day of rest. It was overturned in 2004 due to lobbying efforts of major corporations that feared no one would work on Sunday. Actually there are twelve states with active blue laws: Alabama, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Notably, Indiana is the only state in the country that bans beer, wine and liquor on Sundays.  Many states still prohibit selling alcohol for on and off-premise sales in one form or another on Sundays at some restricted time, under the rationale that people should be in church on Sunday morning, or at least not drinking.

From the First Apology by Justin Martyr, dated to between 155-157 CE, “”Sunday, indeed, is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, inasmuch as it is the first day on which God, transforming the darkness and matter, created the universe; and on the same day our Saviour Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For they crucified Him on the day before Saturday; and on the day after, which is Sunday, He appeared to His apostles and disciples, and taught them these things which we have transmitted to you also for your earnest consideration.”  The focus of Sunday for the first Christians was on the Lord and His creating and re-creating power. This emphasizes and points out God’s purpose of giving us a day of rest.  “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it”, Exodus 20:11.

So what would be so bad about closing everything down on Sunday and resting, worshiping the Lord and spending time with family?  We all know the answer.  It is the same answer when asking what happened to Christmas and why the season starts earlier and earlier each year.  Everything is designed around doing more business, the economy, and acquiring material things.  They are no longer built around acquiring spiritual things.  America out of balance! America lost its roots.  We Americans have lost our way and we are all paying the price.

I’ll bet we can all agree that consciously setting apart some time to experience rest would refresh us, give us a taste of what is to come, and would make us all the more conscious of why God allowed us to be born here in America and what we are called to do while we remain.  Along with it, who knows, we just might be able to save millions and millions of dollars on medical costs along the way.  We should use our temporary times of Sabbath rests to remind us what God wants us to do so others may hear the gospel and one day experience the Sabbath rest that can only be possible through Jesus Christ.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”, Matthew 11:28-29.

Make it a New Years resolution to rest and worship one day a week.

God bless you all and may 2013 be a healthy and happy year for you,

“The Tubthumper”

Love me do, part two

Love photoGod says a whole bunch about love in His word.  In Matthew 5:43-48 it says, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” We are supposed to love our enemies. Oh man!  Now that is a tough pill to swallow and we are supposed to pray for them.  It’s one thing to get caught short on loving my neighbor but my enemies.  Come on now…

In yesterday’s post I asked the question, “Do you think there is more love shown to humanity and between our neighbors today than in days gone by or do you think it is less? I think we can easily be assured there is less love being shared around the land today.  Several years ago the son of the late Stephen Covey wrote a book called, “The Speed of Trust”.  In it he had all the documented evidence that trust had reached an all-time low throughout the world.  Nobody can trust anybody anymore either.  There could be a series written and it could include, ‘the speed of commitment’ or ‘the speed of responsibility’ and of course, ‘the speed of love’.  I’ll bet some interesting facts could be laid out on those subjects and I’ll bet there is a lot less love shown today. The speed of love has it’s brakes on and is somewhere around 5 mph.

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8).  Everything that God has commanded us as to loving God and living together is summed up right there.  Love God wholeheartedly and love your neighbors as yourselves and that is all that is required. Love is the fulfilling of the law.  See how easy it is? Similarly in Galatians 5:13 -14 it says, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  Serve one another and love one another.  Take action.

I pointed out yesterday that when it comes to love it is action that makes the difference.  You can talk it all you want and you can preach it till the cows come home.  It will not be noticed until action speaks louder than words.  I mentioned the simple things like acknowledging people with a smile and a hug or handshake.  Even just approaching and talking shows love.  And don’t underestimate what a nice handwritten note would do for someone.  When it comes to love we do better when we get as far from the automated technology as we can.  Pastor Chuck Swindoll tells of the time he dashed off a quick note to someone on a yellow pad of paper, thanking them for something. Not too long after that, he found himself in their home, and to his surprise, he found that note framed on their wall! “The first thing I did was check it for spelling!” Swindoll shares, “You have no idea how much a simple note in your own handwriting (not emailed or typed) can mean to someone.”

Talk does little but action can move a mountain.  Part of action is prayer. We should all be praying for God’s love to show through us.  It was proven a long time ago that negative just soaks our brains; however, the positive stuff needs to be actively forced in.  If we read God’s word often and pray often along with some accountability we can make purposeful change.  One thing I have been doing is evaluating my-self at the end of each day as to whether I have glorified God.  Did your day glorify God today? Don’t beat yourself up too bad if some days the answer is no because there is none righteous, not one.  The only true righteous is the Lord. The more times you check yourself though the better the averages get.  Give it a try.

So if we say we are a child of God we are supposed to live like we are a child of God.  Verse 2 of Ephesians 4 tells us how we are to live, “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”.  With all lowliness and meekness we are to live. With long-suffering and forbearing one another in love we are to live.  Can you see it? How do each of us stack up at the end of the day when we ask, “Have I glorified God today? Have I lived in lowliness and meekness today?  Have I with long-suffering (patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties), with all lowliness and meekness, forbearing (accepting pain and hardship calmly with no complaint) one another (that is anyone we relate with, it is each other) in love? Oh Lord, forgive me! To kind of pile on we read in 1 Peter 1:22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”. 

We are to bear fruit as explained in John chapter 15.  We know the Holy Spirit is working in us when we have the fruit to back it up.  When the fruit of the Spirit is in our lives it is love.  Love for one another.  Agape love, not the mushy television soap opera kind of love but the love that the Holy Spirit instills in us.  Agape love goes to the Spirit level and is all about giving. It encompasses Joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance and trust.  Oh boy, there is the speed of trust coming up again.  That’s for another post.

I need bring this to a close now.

If you are a Christian and say you are of God, a child of God, what action have you taken today to demonstrate God’s love.  Are you talking the talk or are you walking the walk?  Several reading this have a stamp on the forehead.  The stamp is DNA.  What is DNA? It means does not apply.  But I assure you, it applies.  It applies to all.

Sometime long ago someone either said something to me or wrote something to me that suck in my craw like barnacles on a dirty boat.  It was, “What you do speaks to loudly that what you say I cannot hear”.

Let those words settle in.

God bless you all in Christ’s love,

“The Tubthumper”

Love me do

lovehandsBack in 1959 while Paul McCartney was skipping school he was scribbling some song words on a notebook and dreaming of being a star one day.  John Lennon added some lines to it and they scribbled “Another Lennon-McCartney Original” at the top of the page.  What was born form that scribble was the first hit single from the Beatles.  “Love Me Do” backed by “P.S. I Love You” was released on October 5, 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four. In the United States the single was a number one hit in 1964.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Whoa, love me do.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Oh, love me do.

Someone to love, Somebody new, Someone to love, Someone like you.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Oh, love me do.

Love, love me do, You know I love you, I’ll always be true; So please, love me do; Whoa, love me do. Yeah, love me do; Whoa, love me do.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well in reality we see mostly love, love me don’t.  You know it’s likely when these teens wrote this song they were thinking of romantic love with the young ladies.  To an extent what I am talking about today can go there but I am thinking now of agape love, the brotherly love like in Philly.

Actually I am writing this because of a strong prompting to do so.  I know not why but I have learned recently to listen to those divine prompts.  Most certainly I am no expert on the subject and almost any day you could grab me by the collar and say, “now was that the love of God I saw you show just then?”  And I would shrink in shame.

Think about this, would you?  Do you think there is more love shown to humanity and between our neighbors today than in days gone by or do you think it is less?  I’ll give some time for you think about that.  I promise that I’ll come back to it.

The prompting I have been getting is telling me that speech has little value.  What I mean to say is that when it comes to love talk doesn’t mean anything.  Love needs action.  Love comes from emotions or should be an emotion. The word emotion is derived from motive or motion, e-motion.  So love should motivate.  It should motivate us to do kind things and helpful things for those we love.

We should be motivated to take action.  But where is the action?  I have been noticing that all around there is a lack of action.  I know I am addressing fellow brothers and sisters that love the Lord and of course anyone else that should happen along to my humble little blog.  So it’s possible I have a mix of audience of us and them. Or call it them and us. You know, we Christians that are “born again’ and filled with “God’s love” and those that have not made a commitment to the Lord and are still in the world. (As we call it.)  A friend made me accountable not too long ago.  A group of people had taken a view different than we (Christian’s) would take on a subject and I said, ‘”Well those yahoo’s should get a life”.  Or something very much like that and he immediately thumped me.  I know that brother loved me because he abruptly and lovingly put me in the place I needed to be.  He said, “Frank, don’t refer to others that way, because we are to be different.” Now, those folks never heard my comment.  My brother in-Christ knew my brain needed a jog though. He knew I needed a “check-up from the neck-up” as the late Zig Ziglar used to say.  He was so right though.  We are supposed be different. The world is always watching. As family in God’s Kingdom we are supposed to different.  In the world but not of the world. Sometimes it seems to me that we are worse at what I am taking about than the world is.

So talk is cheap.  I am certain you are pretty tired of hearing that “actions speak louder than words” right?  Well, it doesn’t matter how overheard the cliché is, it won’t get any less true.  And oh, how true it is.  Love requires action and here is the most telling point.  Love requires time.  An investment in time is required and it is getting very hard to find fellow human beings that are willing to invest any of their time to express love for their neighbors.  It is commanded of us.  Let me repeat that, “It is commanded of us!” Now even though it is commanded of us we hoard that time and use it for ourselves instead of using it for what God intends.  As I see people parceling out their time I see precious little of it parceled out for the love category.  Yup, there is no time for love these days. Too busy!  You know sometimes it even strikes me that the world is investing a little more time in showing love than we Christians are.  I know it is a sad statement but I can’t help it.  Several Saints around me seem to be short on time and effort in this category.  Lest I be called the fire that’s calling the kettle black I remind you that I need this as much anyone.  Many seem a bit lax on this one trait that is truly the number one request of the Lord.  1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Do everything in love.”  Short and to the point.  It doesn’t get any plainer than that.  Ok, the context of that short verse came just after we are told to stand firm in our faith and be resolute.  We are to be firm but we are not to be the devils tool in the process.  Someone said that the wrath of man will never, ever work the righteousness of God.  And how can it? I mentioned this was a commandment.  Check the 10 commandments out but first I’ll provide these verses.  “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”, (Matthew 22:36-40).

So love your neighbor as yourself.  And who is your neighbor?  I will remind you that according to scripture, your neighbor is anyone you can help.  And guess what?  They are wanting it and waiting for it.  So when you respond to someone or you address someone or more importantly, if you are in the presence of someone then acknowledge they are there and show love and kindness.  Such a short time it takes for a hello or hand shake or a hug or warm look in the eyes.  But few invest it. That time and effort, I mean; and many feel unloved.  Mother Teresa said, “The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”

Come back and I will finish this thought…  Click Here to go to Part Two

Have a Godly day,

“The Tubthumper”


The Pews are too Hard!

The Pews are too Hard!   Church-Pew

My mother dragged me down the sidewalk each Sunday to church when I was young.  She really did drag me and sometimes it was by the ear.  I remember each line and crack in that sidewalk on Washington Avenue.  I remember the church too.  It was a huge old stone Baptist church with massive stained glass windows and a gigantic pipe organ.  The pews I had to sit in were just plain punishment.  Those pews were solid oak with no pads on them and so hard.  No way did I want to be there.  I always made that known to all around me.  When you see kids fidgeting in church none are as bad as I was.  I even got the pastor to stop preaching one Sunday morning.  He came down and moved me to the front row.  The reverend told me if I moved before he finished I would be in trouble.  That got my attention!

My mother made sure her kids got to church.  She took us even when we didn’t want to be there.   People used to do that you know.  I am thankful she did that.  I’m sad times have changed.  All kids should have the pew experience.

I was exposed to the word of God early and I came to Christ early.  I was only a young 10 year old boy but I came to Christ. I was born again!   To be born again means that I exchanged my old life for a new life.  I was born of the flesh in 1955 and then 10 years after being born of the flesh I was born of the spirit (The Holy Spirit) on August 8, 1965.

I was just a kid and I wasn’t interested in much other than having fun back then. I was probably no different than other kids.  I could not sit still very well.  I didn’t even have a Bible.  Wow, those pews were so hard!  There was evidence all around me that God existed.  I knew in my heart that it was true and had no doubt.  I knew right from wrong.  I was just old enough to learn bout Hell and to understand I was a sinner.  I understood I was lost and couldn’t save myself no matter how good I could try to be.  “For by grace ye are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). 

My mother saw to it that Christian values were taught to us and we had the opportunity to meet God.  Of course, those Christian values never saved anyone.  It is Jesus Christ that saves us.  It is the Gospel. To be born again a person needs to make a choice.  I made that choice.  I chose Jesus Christ as my savior.  It didn’t make those pews any softer but it assured me I would be with Jesus and not in the lake of fire.

It was all very simple for me.  In faith I trusted in Christ to save me. I believed!

I am much older now and 48 years have passed since then.  I still like to keep things simple though.  And for me, salvation is as simple as these two things:

1. We must believe God is there and Jesus was His son and was born the ‘Savior’, died on the cross for our sins and rose again.  We must repent and call on Him for salvation and ask for a changed life in Him.  Believe and live!

— When I was 10 years old I had no Bible but I knew in my heart God and Jesus existed.  I wanted to be with Him and was sorry I was a sinner.  I called on His name and was saved!

Don’t let anyone confuse you. Keep the first step of salvation simple.

2. Believe the Bible is the written word of God inspired by Him and delivered through man.

Which comes first? I don’t think it matters.  I came to the Lord before I had a Bible and my wife came to the Lord after and through reading the Bible.  He will make that choice.  You just need to respond.

A tiny little booklet, the Gospel of John, was my Bible for a long time. I love John 3:16 and it is my saving verse. It was the verse I learned while on my knees calling to Jesus for salvation.  It is forever burned in my heart, “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.”

So 48 years later I can tell you that life has not been a bowl of cherries and being saved by the grace of Christ probably hasn’t made my life any easier, but I can’t imagine going through life without Jesus Christ.

God has done wonderful things in and for my life.  He placed me in the presence of the people that I needed to mold me to the person I am today.  He made me who I am.  My life has been blessed and I am so very thankful. And He is still working on me.

I can still feel those oak pews on my buttocks. 

Jesus Christ came to this earth over two thousand years ago for one purpose: “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). His life was an absolutely perfect life. “In him is no sin” (I John 3:5).  Yet He went to the cross to pay the penalty of sin and die for me, a guilty sinner. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  He died for the whole world, but He died for me.  And He died for you.

It didn’t end at the cross.  After Jesus died He rose again from the grave.  “He is risen from the dead” (Matthew 28:7).  “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34).

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). This proved Jesus Christ is God, and through Him alone we are saved.

These days, each Sunday I sit in nice padded seats to receive the message from our pastor.  I sometimes drift back to the day…

When those pews were so hard…


God bless your day,





“The Tubthumper”




Call Him Up, Tell Him What You Want

This post is a little different.  I want to tell you about a song I like.  I would love to have a great singing voice and always be in pitch but God did not bless me with that gift.   I do love to listen to others using that talent though.

Woooo… If you want your body healed tell Him what you want, oooh, tell Him, tell Him, tell Him what you want.  Prayer is a lot like picking up your cell phone and making a call.  Just go ahead.  Dial up Jesus and tell Him what you want.  He is waiting for your call.

ZionHThe Zion Harmonizers have been producing heavenly music for more than 55 years and some of them are over 80 years old. They have been thrilling both ecclesiastical and secular audiences with their accapella sounds and their repertoire of timeless gospel music classics over all those years. I told my wife when I die I want them siinging at my funeral.  They have been hugely popular and their music seems to grow stronger and stronger with each passing year.  I really enjoy listening to them.

They feature a song on their Greatest Hits album that really its home with me.  It is called “Jesus on the Main Line”.   I think it was done by Ry Cooder and many others and it is labeled as a traditional song.  I like it done with that New Orleans gospel flavor that the Harmonizers use.

Here are the words:

I know Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want ,Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want, Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want, Call Him up and tell Him what you want.

Well, the line ain’t never busy, Tell Him what you want, Wo, that line ain’t never busy, Tell Him what you want. Well, the line ain’t never busy, Tell Him what you want, Keep on calling Him up, And tell Him what you want.

Well, if you want His kingdom, Tell Him what you want, If you want His kingdom, Tell Him what you want, If want His kingdom, Tell Him what you want, Call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, You can call Him up and tell Him what you want.

Well, if you’re sick and wanna get well, Tell Him what you want, Well, if you’re sick and you wanna get well, Tell Him what you want, If you’re sick and you wanna get well, Tell Him what you want, Call Him up and tell Him what you want.

And if you’re feeling down and out, Tell Him what you want, And if you’re feeling down and out, Tell Him what you want, And if you’re feeling down and out, Tell Him what you want, Call Him up and tell Him what you want.

I know Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want, Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want, Jesus is on that mainline, Tell Him what you want, Call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, call Him up, Call Him up and tell Him what you want.

Go listen to it soon because the writing does not do it justice.

If you are going to dial Him up on the mainline you need the phone numbers. He has a special phone number extension for each need you have.   I am including a few good ones here for you to add into your phone book:


When you are in sorrow, call John 14.

When people fail you, call Psalm 27.

If you want to be fruitful, call John 15.

When you have sinned and know it, call Psalm 51.

When you worry, call Matthew 6: 19-34.

When you are in danger, call Psalm 91.

When God seems far away, call Psalm 139.

When your faith needs stirring, call Hebrews 11.

When you are lonely and fearful, call Psalm 23.

When you grow bitter and critical, call 1 Cor. 13.

For Paul’s secret to happiness, call Col. 3: 12-17.

For an idea of Christianity, call 2 Cor. 5: 15-19

When you feel down and out, call Romans 8: 31.

When you want peace and rest, call Matt. 11: 25-30.

When the world seems bigger than God, call Psalm 90.

When you leave home for work or travel, call Psalm 121.

When your prayers grow narrow and selfish, call Psalm 67.

For a great invention or opportunity, call Isaiah 55.

When you want courage for a task, call Joshua 1.

When you want to know how to get along with others, call Romans 12.

When you think of investment returns, call Mark 10.

If you are depressed, call Psalm 27.

If your pocketbook is empty, call Psalm 37.

If you are losing confidence in people, call 1 Cor. 13.

If people seem unkind, call John 15.

If you are discouraged about your work, call Psalm 126.

If you find the world growing small and yourself great, call Psalm 19.


PLEASE NOTE:  ALL EMERGENSY NUMBERS CAN BE DIALED DIRECT.  NO OPERATOR NECESSARY.  ALL LINES ARE OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY!    Feel free to pass the numbers on to your friends.  They may need them.

Once you start dialing up the mainline it will likely lead you to find some more numbers on your own. 1280409

Find that album by the Zion Harmonizers. “The Best of New Orleans Gospel, Vol. 2”, you will really enjoy it!

You can hear and see a little of the Zion Harmonizers by going to this link. .

God Bless your day,

“The Tubthumper”

Who Is Your Neighbor?

talking-over-the-fenceWho is your neighbor?  I will answer this very question at the end of the post.  For now I want to provide the reason I asked the question.

There is a passage in the book of Luke where a lawyer was tempting Jesus Christ.  The lawyer asked Jesus, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life”?  Jesus answered him this way, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”  (Luke 10:27)  It was then the lawyer tried to justify himself and asked, “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29)

I will paraphrase what happens in the next seven verses.  This is how Jesus used a parable to explain who your neighbor is.  Please keep in mind as you read this account of the parable that Jews and Samaritans were enemies.  They were never seen together and if anyone had a reason to keep walking and ignore a Jewish man needing help it is a Samaritan.  A man (a Jewish man) was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by a bunch of thieves and thugs.  They robbed him and beat him and left him lying in the road half dead.  Well, along the road came a priest and a Levite.  These two were travelling the same road and saw the man lying there in dire need of someone to help him.  These two men took a quick look at the man and rushed off refusing to help him.  The next man that came through was a Samaritan.  This Samaritan stopped and offered his assistance.  He bandaged the man’s wounds, picked him up and placed this wounded Jewish man on his donkey.  He then took him to a nearby inn and paid the innkeeper to nurse him back to health.  (Luke: 10:30-37) This parable exhibits gentleness and I should point out a miracle by Christ in Luke 17:11-19 which also involves a Samaritan, the coinciding miracle of the Cleansing of Ten Lepers exhibits gratitude.   Of the ten lepers only one was a Samaritan.  The Samaritan fell at the feet of the Savior and worshipped and thanked him.  The others, Jews, ran off to the temple priests without giving thanks.  They had committed the ultimate sin of thanklessness.  A thankful person is a humble person.  Someone made an observation of, “Be careful for nothing, be prayerful in everything, and be thankful for anything!”

Ok, let’s get back to the neighbor thing.  There is some irony at play here.  If anyone should have helped the injured Jewish man it was the Priest or the Levite.  The Priest probably was leaving Jerusalem after being in the temple presenting sacrifices to God.  The Levite would have been in the temple proclaiming the scriptures.   Isn’t it just like some things we see today in that neither of them would lift a finger to help a fellow human being in need?  Talk about irony; look at the one that provided the help.  This man that stopped to help was a Samaritan and a member of a race that was hated by the Jews.  “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion [on him]”, Luke 10:33.

The question the lawyer asked is “Who is my neighbor?” and the answer is that your neighbor is anyone you can help. 

About 500 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Confucius preached the Golden Rule and some accused Jesus of borrowing words from Confucius.  The Golden Rule is “Don’t do to others that which you would not have them do to you.”   That is in no way the message Jesus wants us to hear and is vastly different.  Here is the Golden Rule that Jesus gives, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”, Matthew 7:12.   

Which advice did the Priest and the Levite follow?  It appears they followed the advice of Confucius because they didn’t beat or rob a man because they wouldn’t have wanted it to be done to themselves.

It seems the Samaritan was the only one to follow the advice of Jesus and the Golden Rule.  Not only had the Samaritan not inflicted any additional harm to the injured man, he actually did what he would have desired for someone to do to him.   He would have wanted someone to stop and help him and to care for his wounds as Jesus advised.

There are three different attitudes present here.  The first attitude comes from the robbers.  Their attitude is “What is thine is mine.”  I don’t want to get distracted here but we surely see lots of this devilish attitude amongst us today.  The second type of attitude comes from the Priest and the Levite.  They have the fleshly and self-righteous attitude of, “What is mine is mine”.   Lastly the Samaritan has an attitude that is Devine, “What is mine is thine”.

The Samaritan stopped and helped while others just walked on by.  The Priest and the Levite should have helped and did not.

Who is your neighbor?  It is whoever is in need.

Who is my neighbor?   It is the man who is in need.

Be thankful always and love your neighbor as yourself.

FJ1“The Tubthumper”

Hell, you don’t have to go there!

Part 3 of 3 part series:

God is real. His word is real. His love is real. His working in the world is real.  He is real.  God is near to any who would have Him.  Jeremiah 29:13, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

He wants to offer you a relationship not possible with any person.  Only God!  No one else can offer you forgiveness of sins and eternal life.  No one else can offer you a personal relationship with the divine Creator; only the Creator can do that.  No one else can offer to touch you at the deepest level of your being and bring healing from heartache and despair.  No one else can offer you the unconditional love we all crave. Reach out.  He’s waiting for you.

I want to invite you to make Christ your Lord and Savior by repenting of your sins and calling on Him for forgiveness and eternal life, believing that He died for you and rose from the grave.  The Bible says that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.    That is very good news.  Act on the words of God, will you?

The path to Heaven

1. God loves you and wants a personal relationship with you.

God has a wonderful plan for your life now and forever. The central theme of the Bible is God’s love for you and all people. Jesus said, “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).

God’s plan: Jesus said, ” The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10; 17:3).

2. We are all sinful and separated from God.

Because of sin we cannot know God personally or experience His love and plan for our lives.  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”, (Romans 3:23).  Man (Adam) was created to have a relationship with God; but, because of his stubborn self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.  This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion  or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

We are all separated from God because of sin.   “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). Heaven and Hell are real destinations and the ultimate choice is ours.  There is a hell…but the good news is we don’t have to go there!


The diagram above illustrates that God is Holy and we are sinful.  A great gulf separates the two.  The arrows show that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as living a good life, doing good deeds,  following philosophies, religions, cults etc. The next point explains the only way to bridge this gulf.

3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.

Through Jesus Christ alone we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. “, (Romans 5:8).

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:3-6).

Jesus Christ is the only way to God.  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know the above information.  The next point is the most important.

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

We must receive Jesus Christ by faith (i.e. by trusting or believing) so we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We experience a new spiritual birth when we receive Jesus Christ.   “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:1-8).

We can receive Jesus Christ by personal invitation. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Jesus Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Jesus to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us the kind of people He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins is not enough.  Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.  We must receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of will.

The two circles below represent two kinds of lives, the self-directed life and the Christ-directed life:









Which circle best represents your life?  Which circle would you like to have represent  your life?


5. How you can receive Jesus Christ right now by prayer and faith:

Prayer is talking with God.  God knows your heart and is not concerned with your words.  He is looking at the attitude of your heart.

The following is a suggested prayer.  It is only an example for you.  Dear God/Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned.  I believe You sent Jesus Christ to save me.  I believe Jesus was crucified on the cross, he was buried, raised from the dead, and He ascended into heaven and sat down at Your right hand.  I thank You Jesus for taking away my sins forever.  I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I am now born again and will have eternal life. Take control of my life and make me the person You want me to be. Thank You God, for forgiving me and giving me everlasting life.  In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, pray one like it right now.  It need not be the same and should be your own words.  If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved (Romans 10:9). If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all wrong doing (1 John 1:9). Jesus said, ” I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).

6. How you can grow as a new member of God’s Kingdom.

Talk to God in prayer daily. Matthew 21:22,”And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”.  Mark 11:24,”Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

Attend church regularly.  Hebrews 10:25,”Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Psalm 122:1,”I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.”

Read God’s Word, the Bible, often.  2 Timothy 3:16,17,”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Obey God always.  John 14:21,”He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

Be a good witness and live for God by your life and words.  John 15:8,”Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

Trust God for every detail of your life. 1 Peter 5:7,”Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  Trust the Holy Spirit to help you daily.  Romans 8:14, ”For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

*The illustrations were not created by me.  Thanks go out to the artist whom I am unable to identify.

God bless you,

“The Tubthumper”

Life is but a Vapor: Know for sure

Part 2 of 3 part series.

You can know for sure.  That should be comforting.  You can do something about it. This day is rushing toward you.  Make certain of your destiny.

What are you thinking?  Come on… put some thought into this important subject.  I am sure you have done some good and you have done some bad.  You may be thinking God will grade you on a curve like the teachers do in school.  You may think you can get to heaven on your own because you are not as bad as others.  Here is the truth:  If you are going to heaven it is because you repented and embraced Christ by faith.  If you have not done this you are going to hell.  For it is written.

There are people in hell right now. How sad but true this is. What about you?  Hell is predominately occupied by two groups.  1) Those that have never done it (repented and embraced Christ by faith) and 2) those that thought they had but did not.

(Luke 16:19-35- There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table:  moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:  the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus,  that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue;  for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.)

It is written: Hell is eternal torment for the impenitent.

The subject of Hell is obstinately ignored by all.  It is ignored primarily because of a move in our country toward universalism and health and wealth theology.  Most religions won’t touch it because it is not popular and won’t make people feel good.  You need the truth!  Can you handle the truth?  Truth doesn’t always feel good.  Will it be heaven or hell for you?  You can know for sure.  This day is rushing toward you.  Make certain of your destiny.

I have done it, I repented, I could not gain my own way to heaven.  I humbled myself before God.  I embraced Jesus Christ as forgiveness for my sins.  I did not deserve it, but, I got it.  Through God’s grace I am saved from hell.

This is your chance!  Right now! You can turn from sin and embrace Christ and be changed.  Every day is your day of opportunity.

But… when time comes to a close… it is over. Today, if you hear Him… please respond?  I am talking about things eternal.

It is almost impossible today to get a person to think seriously for even a moment about where they are going when they die.  I fear you do not comprehend what a huge deal this is!  We are talking about eternity separated from God!  We don’t want to go there (hell).  We don’t want anyone we know to go there.  We want to keep people from going there!

(Hebrews 9:27- And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment).

(Matthew 8:12- But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.)

(Matthew 25:30- And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.)

The Bible gives direct terms of fire, weeping and gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, torment, anguish, isolation and eternal destruction.

Every day of your life God calls out to you!

(2 Peter 3:9- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.)

He wants all to come to repentance.  God wants everyone rewarded with salvation.  God provided a way out of hell but it is up to you to take up the opportunity!

Hear His voice!  Hear it today! Hell its up to you

You must be sure… the way to hell is wide and easy.  The way to heaven is narrow but not complicated.  Repent and acknowledge you deserve hell.  Embrace Jesus Christ now by faith and ask Him to come into your life and forgive you.  Ask him to save you!

Come back for part 3 and know how to know for sure.

“The Tubthumper”


Click here to go toPart 3

Life is but a vapor…

Part 1 of a 3 part series…

This post is about life and death and both are very important.  Have you thought about what happens when your body finally ends up at room temperature?   It will be sooner than you want.

This post is about Hell.


It was just an ordinary day several years ago when my friend Steve and his wife were leaving for a normal Sunday at church.  Steve, along with his wife and two children were driving to church as usual on a normal Sunday morning.  They reached an intersection the exact time as another vehicle hurdled through at nearly 100 mph.  The impact was sudden, powerful and caused the end to an entire family in an instant.  The suspect that was fleeing the police in a high speed chase was virtually unharmed in the crash.  The funeral was difficult with Steve in one casket along with his tiny son and his wife in the other casket with her young daughter.  Four people were taken away in the blink of an eye on an ordinary Sunday morning.  Memorable to say the least!

It was just an ordinary day last year when my friend Aaron (coincidentally in the same family as Steve) went out to prepare firewood to heat his home.  When he didn’t come in for supper his wife went out and found him next to the woodpile.  He had suffered a heart attack.  In the blink of an eye he was gone.

I know, I know, it will never happen to you right?  Well, think again…  It was just an ordinary  bright sunny beautiful  day on September 11 when two planes suddenly crashed into the world trade center killing many thousands.  When they left home that morning they had no idea they would never return home again.  If today is your ordinary day which turns into your last, are you ready?

Hell is what we need to talk about.  Heaven is where we all want to end up.  But most will not.    A loved husband will end up in Hell while his wife goes to Heaven.  Beloved wives will end up in Hell and the husband in Heaven.  Children of parents will go to Hell and the parent to Heaven.  Brother will go to Heaven and sister to Hell. Sister is going to Heaven and brother to Hell.  Think about this!  Mother goes  to Heaven and Father to hell and vise verse.  Some of our loved ones are already in Hell.  This should cause tears to be shed…  Can we let this happen without trying to have us all together in Glory?  God Forbid!

You can find the path to Heaven later after my explanation of Hell.  The path to heaven is narrow and not easy.

The path to Hell is wide and almost like a greased downhill slide. Take heed and please make a wise choice.

Why am I posting on the subject of Hell?  It’s because no one is doing it anymore.  Most clergy and churches nowadays won’t touch the subject because it doesn’t make people feel good.  Most Christians don’t talk about it much either.  Modern church not talking about hell is something I have a hard time understanding due to this one fact.  The Bible has much, much more in its pages about hades and hell than it has about heaven.  That alone should make you think twice about the subject.  Please understand that you and I are no different.  With the things I address on this post we are the same.  We were all born as mortals in sin.  (Romans 3:23-For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God )

No need to post about heaven just yet because heaven is all good and positive with people.  It is Hell that needs to be explained.  Most people have no idea.


(Matthew 3;11- I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire) (Romans 2:8- But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath) (2 Thessalonians 1:8- In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ)

It is a place of wrath!  God will inflict vengeance on they that do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Hell is not a place I would send my worst enemy.  And that is the truth. Yes, there is a heaven and there definitely is a hell.  For it is written.  And this is of grave importance. (No pun intended.)

Most people don’t want this to be true.  They suppress the truth.  They do not want to answer for what they have done.  No excuse.  God says there is no excuse.

It’s important to examine your life, death, heaven and hell.  How do you live and what happens when you die?

If you are reading this we know you were born so there is life.  You likely have a birth certificate.  I have some stark news for you if you haven’t heard it yet.  You will die.   All that’s left to be determined is when your date of death is stamped on the death certificate.   It may be today or it may hopefully be another but most don’t expect it when it happens.  And for many, when it does, it’s too late.

Nothing on earth is more sobering than a talk about hell.  As real as the hope of heaven is, so too is the reality of hell.  There will be a moment one day in the future that the only thing about you that will matter is your relationship with God.  Your occupation, your good character, your status, sex, or race will mean nothing apart from your standing before God.  What will that moment be like for you?  Are you just hoping that everything will work out or are you confident in what is ahead for you?

“The Tubthumper”

Part 2 is up…Click here and follow…