ABOUT GUN CONTROL

Lloyd Streeter posted this comment in response to the coverage regarding the Navy Yard Shooting which took place on September 16, 2013.

I don’t know why the government doesn’t enforce the gun laws that are already on the books instead of asking for more and more gun laws.  Well, actually I do know–it is because the gal is not to stop these killings but to eventually confiscate all guns from the hands of private citizens.  But any way, this guy would not have had a gun if the feds had just enforced the laws that are already on the books.  Those with mental illness are not supposed to be able to by guns, and this guy, like all the other mass shooters, was nuttier than a fruit cake.  Also, those who commit felonies or break laws with guns are not supposed to be able to obtain or keep guns, and he was involved in two previous shootings incidents including the shooting of the tires off of a car that parked in his spot.  We don’t need more gun laws to restrict the rights of law abiding Americans.

A MEMORIAL DAY STORY

Our neighbor died and we attended the funeral yesterday. He was 94 and a veteran of WW II. He died at the Lake City Veteran’s Hospice. He was a highly decorated soldier, having been awarded the Purple Heart and 7 additional Medals. Last Monday, Elliott Gates Hendry received his final promotion awarded by the Supreme Commander of the Universe which took him to the Headquarters where he desired to serve. Interment will be in Florida’s National Military Cemetery, Bushnell.Mr. Hendry proudly served in the Army Air Corp of the United States of America during WW II. He served in the Headquarters Squadron of the 27th Bombing group, 5th Bombing Command and held the rank of Master Sargent. He was captured in the Philippines at the Battle of Bataan. He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March in 1942. He was held as a POW in Japan for three and a half years. He was liberated when Japan surrendered and he departed Japan on October 10, 1945.A Masters of Education graduate of the University of Florida, Mr. Hendry made his living in Ornamental Horticulture.He was preceded in death by two of his sons and a grandson. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Billie Jean Hendry.

The funeral was held at the Evangel Church of God, where Elliott was a member. The Pastor spoke about the caring of Jesus. It was a fine service. The Pastor did a very good job. Attendance at Elliot’s service was an appropriate way for us to spend part of the Memorial Day week-end. God, bless Elliott’s memory. We thank him and all of the Veterans who served our country. And Dear God, bless the memory of all those who died in battle. We owe them so much!

During the service, Trace Atkins video, “We Made It to Arlington,” was shown.

LET’S GO OVER THE FISCAL CLIFF

by Lloyd Streeter

Let me tell you why I am in favor of allowing the country to go over the “fiscal cliff.” Both the Democrats and the Republicans in Washington, both the President and congress are threatening each other with the most dire consequences if the country goes over the “fiscal cliff” on January 1. All of these politicians, of course, are posturing for political advantage. They care more about who is going to win politically than they do about solving our country’s economic problems.

The, so called, “fiscal cliff” is a date certain, January 1, 2013, when taxes will go up in a very steep way. The “Bush tax cuts” will end and everyone’s taxes will go up. Both the middle class and “the rich” will find themselves paying more to the Federal government.

But the “Bush tax cuts” ending is not the only tax increase on January 1. There will be a three and a half percent increase in capital gains for people who make over $250,000 per year. There are several other taxes that individuals will face, including penalties for not participating in Obama Care. There has been a payroll tax reduction in effect for sometime now, a sort of “stimulus” for the economy. But this “payroll tax holiday” will end on January 1. Some states will also increase their income taxes. It is a frightening prospect and will be shocking to people. Going over the cliff will be painful. Paying the piper always is.

No one likes the thought of his taxes going up, and what happens on January 1 may, or may not, cause another recession. It may, or may not, cause a lot more unemployment because employers will have less money to hire people and keep people on the payroll.

So, even though the vast majority of people will disagree with me, and though no one else is saying this, I think the country would be best served by going over the “fiscal cliff.” Let me tell you why.

First, the American people are not going to insist that government cut spending until they have to begin paying for some of the “free stuff” they have been getting. The real problem with our economy, of course, is government spending and the National debt, now more that $16T, and likely to be over $20T by the end of Obama’s second term. Most of the American people have no will to solve this problem, as evidenced by the reelection of the President. However, if the American people had to begin paying for some of the “free” goodies they receive, it might shock them into demanding that spending to be seriously cut.

Second, it is immoral to keep going deeper and deeper in debt. I have always believed in paying for what I get. That is only right. What would happen to a family if it went further and further in debt every year, but kept on spending and borrowing one third of all that it spent? What would happen to a company if it did such an immoral thing? But this is what government does. We should raise taxes on everyone enough to pay for what we get. That, along with serious spending cuts, will eventually put the U.S. back on a sound financial basis.

Third, it is high time that the “middle class” and even the low income people begin to pay their “fair share.”  About one half of the American work force pays no Federal income tax at all. Everyone should share in the sacrifice to pay for our country. Half of Americans should not be “takers,” paying for nothing.  Even people who earn $30K per year should pay something. Are we real Americans?  If so, we should have “some skin in the game.” The low income and middle income people will never stop demanding more and more “free stuff” until they actually have to start paying for some of it.

Fourth, going off the fiscal cliff and raising more revenue is better than simply printing money to pay for what we want. The government borrows a lot, but also prints a lot of money to pay for government. The government is flooding the economy with cheap dollars. In a sense, these dollars are fake dollars. It is a sort  of legalized government counterfeiting operation. The more dollars that are printed, the less your money is worth. Have you noticed that what you need to buy has been getting more and more expensive? Groceries, gasoline, and all other products needed for your daily living have been increasing more and more in price because your dollars are worth less and less. This is called inflation. Inflation is the cruelest tax of all because it devalues all that Americans have saved and devalues every monetary instrument. Your retirement account, your mutual fund investments, and your savings account are all worth less every day. The government sneaks into your bank account and steals some of the value out of your money. The government is able to get your money this way without any vote in congress, or anywhere else. If the government is going to continue to spend an enormous amount of money, we ought to at least raise the money through taxes, not just print it. So, either go over the cliff or stop spending so much.

Finally, I favor going over the “fiscal cliff” because none of the proposals being advanced by either the Democrats or the Republicans will solve the country’s economic problems. Obama wants to raise the rates from 36% to 39% on just the top 2% of taxpayers, only on the “rich.” This will raise only a pittance, not enough to run the government for 10 days. The Republicans, on the other hand, want to simply eliminate some tax deductions. This will also result in just a pittance of revenue, not enough to do any real good. Some Republicans are in favor of cutting spending in a serious way, and that would certainly be a good step. But if they are truly serious about it, they will refuse to raise the debt limit when it comes up in a few months. It is time for some desperate, lifesaving action. Do any of these politicians realize that this is an emergency? We are broke! We owe more than we can ever pay, but we had better make a start at it.

The U.S. government needs to drastically cut spending. That is the only real solution to our country’s economic problems. I do not favor huge cuts in our military (though some cuts are necessary), but we should take an ax to much that we are spending in other areas. Only when the American people are jarred out of their deadly slumber, will they begin to demand that politicians start doing something about these problems. Let’s go over the cliff!

Posted Dec. 8, 2012

WAKE UP, AMERICA

by Lloyd Streeter

The following article was written after Memorial Day in 2002 following the attack on the Twin Towers in New York.  Almost 3000 people died on that day, September 11,2001.

Memorial Day has been observed.  Thousands of speeches have been delivered and millions of words have gone into print and have been broadcast in the media.  We pray that most Americans had a reflective, prayerful, and grateful day of remembrance of those who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms.  We honor those who died, those who lost their health or limbs, and the families who suffered.  We salute the men and women who are fighting for America today.  Our children and grandchildren would have a dismal future if it were not for those who fought for America in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and in the War on Terror.

Some things are clear now, much clearer than they were on September 11.  We know now that America is being attacked because of our Judeo-Christian heritage and because of America’s support for Israel.  Osama Ben Laden said in a video broadcast two weeks ago that his kind will continue to attack America because we are friends to the Jews.  Osama and his kind do not want Israel to exist.  Out of hatred for the Jews they will bomb, kill, and destroy.  But America should never cease to support Israel.  God will never allow the Jews to be completely destroyed because He has a great future for them according to Bible prophecy.  There will one day be a world-wide Jewish kingdom when Jesus Christ sits on the throne of David at Jerusalem.  In that day, there shall be unending peace, prosperity, good will, and universal good health for all of earth’s inhabitants.  Until that kingdom age of our Lord Jesus Christ arrives, we should remember that the nations of the world are going to be judged by God for how they treat the Jews.  In Genesis 12:1-3, we read what God said at the time that He called Abraham and elected Israel to be His chosen people.  He said to Abraham, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

During the present crisis, we should try to be at our best spiritually and morally.  When England was being bombed every night and every day in WW II, Winston Churchill gave a stirring speech in which he expressed the hope that a thousand years later the world would still be saying, “This was their finest hour.”

So we ask, will this be one of our finest hours?  If we are to be at our best, we must lay aside partisan politics as they relate to the war.  It does no good to  point fingers and try to fix blame on one another for the September 11 attack.  When some senators tried to do that recently, they did not serve their country well.

If we are going to be at our best, we must be grateful for America.  We have enjoyed both bounty and safety.  These are gifts from God.  Remember that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” [James 1:17]  Thank God for all His blessings on America!

If we are to be at our best, reliance on God must replace self trust.  David wrote, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” [Psalm 119:67]  There was a renewed interest in religion after September 11, but we have already begun to let that slip  away.  We cannot afford the error of self reliance.  Our hope must be in the Lord.

If we are to be at our best, we must hold high our President and our military.  Hold them high in your prayers.  Hold them high in your support.  We must not allow our armed forces to be weakened or our intelligence community to be decimated.  Jesus taught us that “When a strong man armed keepth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” [Luke 11:21-22]

On September 16, the first Sunday after the attack on America, I said in my morning sermon, “It may be that President Bush has come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”  I was, of course, referring to the passage in the Old Testament book of Esther.  It has certainly proven to be true that President Bush has served our country well.  He is not bashful about his faith in God.  He bows his head while others are leading in prayer instead of looking all around the room or talking to others.  He prays publicly, leading his country in prayer.  He has said often in personal letters and to individuals on a personal basis, “Thank you for your prayers.  It means a lot to me.”

The President is relying on God.  He has not made many mistakes.  He deserves our support.

When President Bush closed his address to the nation on September 13, he said, “Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safely and security has been threatened.  And I pray they will be comforted by a Power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.'”  It was good to hear our President talk like this.

September 11 was a wake up call to America.  God took center stage.  He deserves to be there all the time and forever!  Wake up, America!  Wake up, Christians!  Do right and be right!  The Bible says, “Awake thou that sleepeth. . . .” [Ephesians 5:14]

I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

by Lloyd Streeter

The Bible says in John 11:25-26, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believest thou this?”

This is one of the great “I Am” statements of the Gospel of John.  John is the only Gospel writer to record these statements.  There are seven of these “I Am” statements in this book.  These statements describe the Lord Jesus Christ.  These statements all teach the deity of Jesus Christ, and much more.

All of the “I Am” statements in John are related to what Jesus said in John 8:56-58.  After Jesus’ enemies had accused Him of being demon possessed, He told them who He really was.

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

There was no doubt about what Jesus was saying.  He was saying He was present before Abraham was born.  In fact, He was saying that He is the Eternal, Ever-present God whom Moses knew.  His “I Am” is a clear reference to Exodus 3:14.

Jesus had been saying this all through His conversation with the Jews, but they were not “getting it.”  For example, in John 8:23, He had said, “I am from above.”  He also had said, “for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (8:24), and “I am he, and I do nothing of myself” (8:28).

However, when Jesus said “before Abraham was, I am,” they “got it.”  And they did not like it, because Jesus was saying that He is the ever-continuing, self-existent, eternal, always-in-the- present God.

This claim of absolute deity on the part of our Lord was more than His enemies could take.  “Then took they up stones to cast at him” (8:59).

So, the “I Am” statements of Christ are the lowest common denominator of Christ’s description of Himself.  He is saying, “I am Jehovah God.”

That self assertion of deity then helps to form the other titles in Christ’s self-descriptive “I Am” statements.  He says: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35);  “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12);  “I am the door” (John 10:7);  “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11-14); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and, “I am the true vine” (John 15:1).

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” it was the occasion of the death of Lazarus.  Lazarus is one of three persons raised to life by the Lord Jesus.  He raised the young man from Nain saying, “Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.”  He resurrected the little girl saying, “Talitha cumi; . . . Damsel, I say unto thee, arise”  To the dead, decaying body of Lazarus he cried, “Lazarus, come forth”!  And Lazarus came to life and hobbled out of the tomb with grave clothes still wrapped around his body.

Only God can raise the dead.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is “declared to be the Son of God with power, . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

When Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” He was saying that He is the only source of resurrection.  He is the only power of resurrection.

There is intimation in what Jesus said of the Rapture of the Church, of the translation of dead saints, and of the catching away of the living.

When He said, “Though he were dead yet shall he live,” does it not refer to those who “sleep in Jesus” who will be raised when He comes?  And when He said, “Whoso liveth and believeth in me shall never die,” does it not refer to a generation of believers who will be living when Jesus comes, living saints who will never die, but be translated and raptured to Heaven to live with him forever?

Paul the apostle wrote under inspiration of God to say, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).

A young boy in England grew up being constantly fearful regarding the Coming of the Lord.  His fear was increased by the huge stones used for grave markers in the local cemetery near his home.  He was worried that the gigantic memorial stones would prevent him from rising on Resurrection Day.  Eventually, the young man became comforted by two events.  The first was that he saw and heard an old man walking through the cemetery talking to the grave stones.  He saw the old man shake his cane at the markers and say, “O, ye stones, ye’ll all be broken to pieces on the Resurrection Morn. . .ye will!”

The second and more important event which brought courage to the young man’s heart was to hear the words of the Lord Jesus as they were read to him by his mother, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.  Believest thou this?”

The power of the Lord Jesus to raise the dead is a great comfort to every child of God.  But, that power is  no comfort to the unsaved!  This wonderful death-abolishing power will be used to drag every Christ rejector out of the grave to stand before a thrice Holy God for judgment.

In John 5:25, 27-29, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. . . . And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”

He who has the power to raise the dead has power to bring men into judgment.  He proved by His resurrection from the dead that He will judge all men.

God has given over all judgment unto His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This living, glorified, eternal Son of God will judge every unsaved person at the Great White Throne in that coming day when the books are opened (Revelation 20:12).

The proof of this judgment is the fact that He is alive from the grave.  In Acts 17:31, we read, “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man who he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”

We urge any unsaved person reading these words to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Personal Savior.  Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

 

 

Get Your Personal Revival Now

by Lloyd L. Streeter

We should not necessarily expect to see a great nationwide or worldwide revival before Christ’s return. Such a revival would be possible if people everywhere would seek God, but they will not do so. The Bible tells us about conditions that will prevail on the earth in the last days: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves. . . . evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” ( II Tim. 3:1-2, 13).

Jesus asked, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). The present age is one of apostasy, and God will not send universal revival to an apostate people.

There will be a great worldwide revival in the future. During the great tribulation, multitudes from every tribe, tongue, and nation will be converted; however, that revival will occur after Jesus comes back for His true church (cf. Rev. 7:9-17).

This means that we should not necessarily expect a nationwide or worldwide revival in our day, but we certainly can (and should!) expect personal revival and local church revival.

Four problems among Christians make personal revival a must.

1. The problem of spiritual indigestion. There has been ample preaching and teaching of the Word of God in Bible-believing churches, but there has not been an ample reception of biblical truths. Many Christians hear the Word with their ears, but they are not living the Word. They are surrounded by Bible truths, but they are not giving out God’s Word.

One preacher said that some Christians reminded him of cows that eat and then lie down and do nothing but chew their cuds. Some Christians feed upon the Word and even ruminate, ponder, dissect, and go over and over it. That is good as far as it goes.

At a certain zoo, there is a hippopotamus that eats eighteen out of every twenty-four hours. He seems to live to eat, devouring tons of foliage every year. He must eat at every moment when he is not asleep. I often have wondered whether he gets indigestion. He eats, but he never works. He illustrates one of the problems in the church.

Spiritual indigestion is a symptom showing that Christians need revival.

2. The problem of spiritual indecision. Some Christians have no trouble deciding about other things but cannot seem to make up their minds about spiritual matters. Some professing believers can make decisions about recreation, vacations, styles, associations, business, and almost everything else. They are most emphatic, resolute, and adamant in their views. They know what they want, where they want it, and when they want it; but the same individuals have trouble deciding to obey God in all things. They are hesitant to get involved in service for Christ. They are reluctant to commit themselves to be faithful in attending church services, in supporting the Lord’s work financially, and in maintaining regular personal devotions.

Indecision leads to inactivity. Many times we are indecisive because we subconsciously desire to be inactive. Indecision can be an escape mechanism to avoid coming to grips with an issue. The real problem is in the heart. Often people will say, “I know I should serve God, but I can’t seem to get around to it.” They reason that their failure to decide to do right somehow alleviates them of their biblical responsibilities. The truth, however, is that making no decision actually is a decision. The person has decided not to decide! The fact that many Christians are afflicted with spiritual indecision indicates a widespread need for personal revival.

3. The problem of spiritual indifference. Jesus said, “Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). There is a pallor and a spiritual coldness that can creep into the lives of believers and into the lives of Bible-believing churches. Many who attend church simply are going through the motions of being Christians. Each week they engage in religious practices and exercises; but they have no real concern, no real warmth, no real joy, and no real enthusiasm for the things of the Lord.

Many Bible-believing churches today are cold! As a whole, the people in them are indifferent to the things that will mean most in eternity. Very little praying takes place in these churches for the salvation of the lost and for the needs of other believers. Their members hurt one another through gossip, hatefulness, and meanness. The members act this way because they are spiritually cold and indifferent; they just do not care.

The members of a church usually follow their pastor. When a church is spiritually cold, usually it is because the pastor is spiritually cold. Yes, church members tend to take on the personality and spiritual characteristics of their pastor. If the pastor is warm, loving, concerned, friendly, prayerful, and dedicated, the people of the church will tend to have those characteristics. May God help us to not be cold!

Spiritual indifference among Bible believers is symptomatic of the fact that they need a personal revival.

4. The problem of spiritual indulgence. Many indulge themselves but ignore God! Some church members have had things soft and easy for so long that they have allowed the world’s attitude to invade the church. The world’s attitude is that one always must have things easy. In everything that some people do, they want to know, “What’s in it for me?”

Some professing Christians are so indulgent that they do not want anything to do with the Lord’s work unless they get some attention, some prominence, or some recognition. Like the people of the world, they want their fair share; and if they do not get it, they will not cooperate.

Many Christians today are extremely soft. They are in sharp contrast to those Christians who lived during persecutions and inquisitions of old and who faced hard times. Christians behind the iron curtain today have it hard. By way of comparison, how much love for Christ do some of us show?

Some of us can hardly discipline ourselves to faithfully attend the services of our church. When we do attend, we often complain about the length of the sermon! When we attend the services of our local church, do we want to be entertained, or do we want to be fed “the sincere milk of the word” (I Pet. 2:2)?

The spiritually indulgent say, “Please, let me be excused! Let a younger person do it. Let a talented person do it. I’m too old, too busy, and too tired.”

Church members need to stop indulging themselves to the point where they cannot serve God. The fact that some Bible believers are so spiritually indulgent means that they need a personal revival.

Each believer can have his own personal revival. Such a revival is not a complicated, out-of-reach, hard-to-understand thing. It can be realized. A personal revival simply means that the Holy Spirit has produced an awakening in a Christian with the result that he begins to do the things he should have been doing but has not been doing because of negligence.

The Bible says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).

In the biblical context, of course, the above verse was not intended to be a direct formula and a promise for a national revival in our nation today; rather, the Lord was addressing Solomon concerning the nation of Israel. King Solomon, the son of David, lived about a millennium before the birth of Christ. On this occasion the temple was being dedicated.

However, there is an application of II Chronicles 7:14 that should be made to the individual believer. The unchanging principles of truth in God’s Word can be applied to every people in every age. Do you want to have a personal revival? If so, follow the principles of this verse.

Many blessings that God offers are conditional. In exhorting the Israelites to abandon their idols and turn to the Lord, Joshua said, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Josh. 24:15). Speaking to Solomon, the Lord said, “If thou wilt walk before me, . . . then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, . . . But if ye turn away. . . . then will I pluck [you] up by the roots out of my land” (II Chron. 7:17-20).

The principle of conditional blessing and judgment may be seen in Abraham’s prayer for the righteous in Sodom (Gen. 18:23-33), in God’s withholding judgment from Nineveh (Jonah 3:10), and in God’s offer to unrepentant Judah to withhold judgment in exchange for repentance (Jer. 18:7-10).

If you want to have personal revival, you must act according to the principles and conditions that God has set forth in His Word. In II Chronicles 7:14, we find the conditions and results of revival. If you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (cf. Jas. 4:8). If you obey Him, He will bless you.

Notice that there are three revival principles in II Chronicles 7:14. First, you must humble yourself. We read elsewhere, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall  lift you up” (Jas. 4:10). Self-sufficiency and pride are the enemies of revival. Pride often gets in the way of making rightful apologies! Haughtiness often prevents us from extending forgiveness to those who have wronged us!

D. L. Moody told the story of a petition that was being circulated in England for signatures. The petition concerned a very controversial matter and was presented to the House of Lords; however, one word was left out. Instead of reading, “We humbly beseech thee,” it simply read, “We beseech thee.” It was rejected because of the missing word. Yes, if we want to be heard in heaven, we first must humble ourselves. The Bible says “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (I Pet. 5:5).

The second revival principle found in II Chronicles 7:14 is that we must pray and seek God’s face. The Bible says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: . . . whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15).

The words “pray, and seek my face” (II Chron. 7:14) indicate the need to be serious about prayer. We need to wait on God. The sad fact is that most of us are too busy to stop and be quiet and give God our undivided attention. We are reluctant to take the time to seek Him with all our hearts.

Our personal revival prayers should be filled with faith in God. We know He has been faithful in the past. We should trust Him to bless us today with His presence and power.

Our prayers for personal revival should be focused on our personal spiritual problems, sins, and needs. We must pray specifically.

Our personal revival praying must be fervent. Like Jacob, we must wrestle, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Gen. 32:26).

The third revival principle found in II Chronicles 7:14 is that we must turn from our wicked ways. The Bible exhorts believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). We are told what to do about our personal sins. We must accept the responsibility for our sins and turn from them.

I must ask myself. Do I really want to stop sinning against God? If I really do, then I must stop making excuses for my sins. I must be willing to turn away from all of them. I then can experience personal revival.

The believer does not have to wait for some sensational, spectacular experience in others. He does not have to concern himself first with national revival or even with local church revival. The Christian’s first priority should be to meet the the conditions for revival himself.

You can have personal revival! Get yours now!

 

Love in Deed

An article by Lloyd Streeter

Love is the greatest gift God gives! It is the only eternal gift. We will not need faith or hope in Heaven. In this world we walk by faith, but this will not be true in Heaven. The same may be said of hope. “For what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”

Love is the greatest gift because none of the other gifts is any good without it. All the others need love to make them effective.

And love is the greatest because every Christian has it. Because the gift of love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we are all able to love one another. God commands us to do so in John 13:34, 35.

The need today is to have this gift exercised in the church. We need it more than any other gift. Corinth was a gifted church, but their need was to exercise love.

We give lip service to love without having the real thing. Genuine love acts. The world knows nothing about it. To the world love is a feeling: the sleazy frolics of soap operas.

Any love that does not act, and act scripturally, is not love.  The Bible commends an “unfeigned” love.

This was Paul’s concern when he cautioned, “Let love be without dissimulation.” Dissimulation is hypocrisy. Action proves love; sickly feelings of sentimentalism do not.

Romans 12 describes nine actions of love.

Love is kind. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.” Genuine love is proved when we count others as important as ourselves. Being kind is simply doing what makes people happy, and not doing what makes people unhappy. We cannot displease God to make people happy, but we should be willing to do something displeasing, inconvenient or sacrificial to ourselves in order to make others happy.

Love respects. “In honor preferring one another.” The flesh says to fight for superiority. Love allow others to have preeminence and does not demand it for self. Love sees others as more deserving than self and praises the virtues, performance and service of others. Respect is recognizing the value of another. “. . . In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” That is respect.

Love works. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Business, here, refers to being busy in serving the Lord. We should be using our gifts to bless others, to preach the gospel, to edify the saints. And we should not be lazy about it!

We must keep on patiently working and praying even in persecultion or against great obstacles. If we have a genuine love of one another, we will be busy serving, helping and encouraging one anbother. Ian Paisley has said, “Love is not a sleeping sloth, but a serving slave.”

Love gives. “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” It is a mock, hypocritical love that ignores the sincere call of a Christian brother for life’s necessities. Love demands that we be hospitable, offering food and clothing to the Christian poor.

We are not required to give something just because people ask for it or because they say they need it. But when we know a Christian has a real need, being destitute, we have a responsibility to help. Good wishes and kind words instead of help are shameful if it is in our power to give. Actions, not words, prove genuine love.

We owe all our fellowmen some concern, but special care is owed to our brethren in Christ.

Love forgives. “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. . . . Recompense to no man evil for evil. . . . ”

An enemy is not someone you despise but someone who despises you. Your enemy is someone who wishes you ill. An enemy is one who may say bad things about you or seek to do you harm.

You may not be able to avoid making enemies. A good case can be made for the idea that if you have never made any enemies, then you have never done any good in this world. You cannot move without producing some friction!

It is not a sin to have enemies. The question is how we should treat them.

ABOUT OUR DEBT LIMIT CRISIS

by Lloyd Streeter
The downgrade of the credit and bonds of the US is inevitable and has been inevitable for a long time now, as long as we keep spending money that we do not have, spending at this great rate and borrowing over a trillion dollars every year. There will be a down grade but not a default on our debts, because the Fed is going to print enough money to cover all of the government’s obligations. The US will pay the interest on US debts with devalued dollars. This means that there is a gargantuan inflation of our money coming.Obama has known all along that a downgrade is coming and he is glad that the present debt limit crisis has surfaced because it gives him the opportunity to blame the downgrade on the Republicans. To Obama anything is preferable to stopping the spending. The only way to redistribute the wealth is by spending, and redistribution is Obama’s major goal. He is hell-bent on redistribution, even if it means that the monetary system of the U.S. is ruined and we have to start over with an entirely new system.

This is just my opinion, and I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

I want to make it clear that I do believe that there is a way out of the looming default and super inflation future, but I do not think that the Dems or the Repubs in Congress will go for it. We can cut a lot but we can not cut enough to avoid the crises; after all, we can not cut the Fed budget by 1/3. And there does have to be a raise in revenue, but I do not believe Repubs are going to allow a rise in the income tax rates. The answer, I believe, is to cut all that we can cut, institute a national 2% sales tax, and eliminate most, if not all, income tax deductions, and institute a lower flat-like individual income tax with only two tax rates, 10% for incomes of $40,000 -$150,000 and 15% for incomes over $150,000. Business and corporate incomes should keep most of their deductions, and maybe have them increased for hiring new U.S. workers. Some reforms need to be made in SS and medicare, too. And Obamacare should be repealed because we can not afford it.

WRITTEN WITH A PEN OF IRON WITH THE POINT OF A DIAMOND

by Lloyd Streeter

The Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah, preached and predicted the future during a time when his people, Judah, had forsaken the Lord and had lived wickedly. He correctly predicted that Judah would be defeated as a nation and carried away into captivity because of her idolatry and sin.

Six hundred years before the birth of Christ, Jeremiah thundered out these words to his people: “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart” (Jeremiah 17:1).

One thing we noticed in going to any of the excavations in the old Mediterranean world is that the ancients did a lot of writing on stone. In Turkey, Cyprus, Patmos, or Crete–it is the same everywhere–there are messages on the rocks. What those ancient peoples wrote is written forever in granite.

The sinner’s heart is hard toward God. And the prophet was telling Judah that her sins were written there, to be remembered forever, written “with a pen of iron, and with a point of a diamond.” God reads hearts.

These same words remind the unsaved person that God writes our sins in a book of works. God writes those sins indelibly, undeniably, and unforgettably that they might be reviewed on Judgment Day. In that day the unbelieving Christless person will be “judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

In this article we will discuss the problem, the proof, the permanence, and the pardon suggested by Jeremiah’s words.

The problem is sin. God remembers the sins of man and brings them into judgment.

What is sin? To the Pharisee in the Bible, sin would have been eating with unwashed hands, or going into a Gentile’s house, or touching a dead animal. The Pharisee hardly ever thought of injustice, cruelty, covetousness, or hatred as sin.

Human nature never changes. People still strain out a gnat and swallow the camel! To the great mass of people today sin is being unappreciative of the UN, opposing homo-sexual marriage, wearing fur, eating meat, or driving an SUV.

But what is sin according to God? It is a lack of conformity to God’s will. It is disobedience to God’s commands. Sin is missing God’s standard of holiness, deviating from God’s requirements, or transgressing God’s law.

We need only look at the Ten Commandments to see how sinful we are. God said, “No other gods!” but we do sometimes put other things, or people, or ourselves, before God.

God said, “Make no graven image and bow down to it.” But many do bow down to images of Christ, angels, and saints.

God said, “Do not take God’s name in vain.” But God’s name so easily comes to the lips as a curse.

God said, “Remember the Sabbath.” But Christ is our Sabbath and He and His day are easily forgotten.

God said, “Honor thy father and thy mother.” And many of us disobey this command.

God said, “Do not murder.” But some have wished another dead, and have been angry with a brother without cause.

God said, “Do not commit adultery.” But many have broken this commandment in deed or in thought.

God said, “Do not steal.” But how often do we steal someone else’s peace of mind?

God said, “Do not lie.” But all people are liars.

God said, “Do not covet.” And all of us are guilty of breaking this commandment.

The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one. . . . They are all gone out of the way” (Romans 3:10-12)

So, the problem is that we have sinned against a holy God.

The proof of this is that “It is graven upon the table of their heart.”

It is imprinted within our nature. It is what we love and prefer. Until a person is born again he does not want spiritual things, and does not want to hear about God or eternity. It comes out. You can not keep it hidden. It manifests itself in a thousand ways. “Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deed were evil” (John 3:19).

What is most precious to you? What do you worship? What takes most of your time and money? What gets most of your attention? What occupies most of your thoughts? This is proof of your sin. It is graven upon the table of your heart.

And it is permanent. The nature of man never changes. It is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond. Can an Ethiopian change his skin? Can a leopard change his spots? So is man’s nature permanent. That which is born of the flesh is always just flesh.

The Bible uses many similes to show the permanence of man’s sinful nature. The Bible says our old sinful nature is like the adder that has venom, like the ass that is stubborn, like the bear that is cruel, and like the canker worm that is destructive. Our nature is like the uncleanness of the dog, the desolateness of the dragon, and the fierceness of the leopard. Our sin nature is ravening like a lion, stupid like a sheep, filthy like the swine, and ferocious like the wolf. And it is permanent.

“Well then,” you ask, “how can we have pardon? How can we get sin out of our hearts and lives?” You can not do it by yourself. But if you repent of sin and trust in the Lord Jesus as your only Savior, He will forgive your sin. He will then take away your sin and give you a new heart.

Yes, the Bible says if you will repent and trust Christ He will “Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart, and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 18:31).

Nehemiah 9:17 says, “Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”

So, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

WHAT TO DO WHEN TROUBLE COMES

A newspaper article by Lloyd Streeter

No life is without trouble.  Even the apostle Paul had plenty of it.  In Acts 27:4, Paul finds himself in a ship when a storm arises.  This storm was the result of a seasonal and well-known wind called Euroclydon.

All of us have our Euroclydons.  Though, presently, we may find a South breeze blowing softly, as Paul did just before his storm broke, we can be sure that there will eventually come a tempestuous wind.  It may be financial trouble, sickness, or family trouble that shatters our world.  Our cherished dreams may turn to nightmares.

Paul’s experience in Euroclydon gives us some biblical counsel about what we should do when trouble comes.  Here are five things for us to remember.

FIRST, SPEND MORE TIME IN PRAYER.  Paul did this in Acts 27.  He told his companions that he had been in touch with God, and that they should be of good cheer.

So, if we want to be strengthened for the time of trouble, if we want our perplexing problems solved, and if we want to see a sick body healed or a sinful soul saved, let us spend more time in prayer.

The hymn writer expresses the value of coming to God in prayer, “Sometimes when my faith would falter and no sunlight I can see, I just lift mine eyes to Jesus and I whisper, ‘Pilot me.’  ‘Fear thou not for I’ll be with thee. I will still thy pilot be.  Never mind the tossing billows.  Take my hand and trust in me.’ ”

SECOND, COUNT ON GOD’S PRESENCE.  Paul knew God was with him in the storm.  He said to his shipmates, “For there stood by me this night the angel of God”  Acts 27:23.

Time and time again in the Bible, God promises to be with His children.  “My presence shall go with Thee” Exodus 33:14.  “I will fear no evil; for thou art with me” Psalm 23:4.  “I will never leave thee” Hebrews 13:5.

A believer in Christ had a terminal illness.  He told his Christian doctor that he felt very alone, and that he feared dying.  The doctor pulled up a chair and told the patient to imagine that Jesus was sitting there.  As the days went by, the dying man gripped the arm of the chair more and more.  The nurses found him there.  He had gone to heaven, but in death, he gripped the arm of the chair.  The doctor said that in the patient’s mind, he was holding to the nail-scarred hand of Jesus.  Jesus was there.  We can count on His presence.

THIRD, BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF GOD.  During Paul’s Euroclydon, he said, “I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” Acts 27:25.

God has made many promises to those who know Him.  He has promised to never leave us; to come back for us; to hear and answer our prayers; and to supply our needs.

God is not a man that He should lie.  He will keep His promises.

Adoniram Judson made a famous, often quoted statement–“The future is as bright as the promises of God.”  Those words have encouraged many.

But, what was the occasion of Judson’s words?  Was everything “coming up roses,”  for Judson?  NO. Judson was in a filthy Burmese jail. He had been put on the rack and beaten.  Now, on a straw bed, he was taunted, “What do you think now of your plans to win people in Burma to Christ?”  It was then that Judson made his famous statement about the future being as bright as God’s promises.

FOURTH, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.  That is what Paul did in that awful storm.  He “gave thanks in the presence of them all” Acts 27:35.

There is always something for which we can be thankful.

About a year ago, a family’s home was destroyed in the California forest fires.  The owner was interviewed on T.V.

“Your home and all your possessions have gone up in flames.”

“No,” he said, “not everything.  I still have my wife.  I still have my little boys.  I still have faith in God.  I still have a God Who watches over us.  And, I still have a home in heaven.  I’ve lost very little, really.”

FIFTH, GET RID OF EXCESS BAGGAGE.  It says of Paul’s companions, “They lightened the ship” Acts 27:38.

It is a good time not only to lay aside sins, but also to lay aside the weights of worry, fear, and dread.  These things easily beset us.

Sometimes we treat God like we treat our spare tire.  A spare tire is forgotten for months when no trouble is seen.  However, when we have a flat, then we want the spare to be in good condition, ready for use.  Trouble should bring us back to God.  It should cause us to pray more, to depend more upon Him, and to examine our own lives.