Friday, October 4, 2013

Can Christians desire to be wealthy?

This seems to be a bit of a sore subject for many. Obviously Christians can be wealthy; we need wealthy people to generously give to the Kingdom. Even looking at the prophetic history of IHOPKC; to make this prayer movement become what it is today, generous financial givers were most definitely needed. It is all about how you use the money that you are given. 

I know I have had the same thoughts as many my age have had, “if only I was wealthy, I could give so much more to the Kingdom.” We want to make such a big impact in peoples lives, and it seems like we only think this can be accomplished if you have a large amount of money. But it is so much more than that. It is using what the Lord has given you. If you have a large income you are held accountable for using that money wisely, and one can be just as faithful in giving with only a small income. The Lord is the only one who sees how much you make and how much you sow, and more money comes with more responsibility. If you were a multi-millionaire, and the opportunity to give a million dollars came up, would you be faithful and actually give it? These are the kind of questions that I hope I would be faithful to respond correctly to if the situation arose.

The dangerous ground comes in when Christians desire to be wealthy. That “desire” is very risky, and can cause many to sets their sights on wealth as opposed to God. It is a fine line, which you do not want to be flirting with.

To answer the question: Yes. They can desire to be wealthy, but they shouldn’t. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Can you love Jesus and hate the church?

This seems like such a silly question, that people would even think such a thing, yet it seems to be a common problem these days.

Yet it is understandable, people get hurt; they’re offended and turn away from the church. The church is not claiming to be perfect, yet the people who say they “hate the church” are obviously dealing with some issues of there own. That is why we need the body of believers to help each other through these issues. You can’t just run away from your problems and think that will fix it. You are only left with bitterness and resentment in your heart, which solves nothing. You are still left hurting and without a family to go to.

It’s not right that it is a problem, but unfortunately it is.

The “church” in the original Greek is defined as the ones who “belong to the Lord”. If you love Jesus but hate the church you are disobeying the Word. First of all, you hate something that the Lord loves. From Psalm 97 derives a popular quote, love what God loves and hate what He hates. He hates evil, but loves his bride, and if you hate His bride… you do not love what He loves. Secondly, you are disobeying the second commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself(Matthew 22:39). Where in hating the church does loving your neighbor reside? Nowhere.

You are deceived if you think you can hate something that God loves and desires to be with forever. The church is not the problem, you are.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Why is studying eschatology a profitable practice for a Christian?

Absolutely it is!

In my time of really digging into studying the end times my whole view on life has changed! There is more meaning, there is more purpose, and there is more reason for everything I do.

It is a way of life, really. A Christian without the end times message on their heart is missing the whole point of the story, God’s story of redemption, and the story of His Son becoming ruler over the whole earth. I was not very old when I was introduced to learning about the end times but I cannot imagine what my life would be without it. It’s like you’re just sitting around, doing life, eventually you’ll die, and then go to heaven. Too simple.

I think it puts too much pressure on us in our earthy lives without this hope of Jesus ruling. Before I started really studying the end times I had a much different view on life. It was all about being successful, and every step had so much pressure on it. I needed to know what I was doing when, whom I was doing it with, and where it was going to take me. Focusing totally on my external calling and not so much on the most important calling, the internal one.

Now I can take a much different approach to life, yes our external calling is important, and I’m not saying that we’re not supposed to try on the earth, but there is so much more than your earthly career. A small 70-year internship here on earth is not compared much to eternity with Christ.

We are called to love the Lord with all of our hearts and to make disciples of the nations, this makes so much more sense in life when you can share about JESUS, who is coming back someday soon! A Bridegroom, King and Judge and He will make all things right, there will be no more pain, not more tears, and we can celebrate with Him for ETERNITY! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Why is "Fully God and Fully Man" important?

Now, this is a question that I get for the most part, but am not sure if I am able to fully explain, but I will try.

Understanding this aspect of Christianity is crucial in understanding it all. If we just see Jesus as a nice guy that did some cool miracles, then we miss the divinity of Jesus. If we see Jesus as just God, then we miss Jesus’ ability to sympathize with our weaknesses. It can’t be one or the other; it just doesn’t work.

Jesus: the perfect example of a human, and one that we should try our best to emulate.

If Jesus were just fully God, I would have absolutely nothing in common with Him (other than being made in his image…). But this way, fully God, fully man, I am able to see a clear picture of how God has designed humanity to be, operating under the power of the Holy Spirit. This encourages me two-fold, although He is fully God He still understands my weakness through His humanity, as well it gives me hope and confidence in what God has planned for my life. I have to power in me, through the Holy Spirit to move mountains!

Just like it says in John 14:12, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

I love thinking about Jesus as a baby. The Word made flesh: lost his first tooth, went to school with his friends, and probably had the attention of all the girls in high school. It’s just so neat to think about it, and it really helps me to grasp it all. As difficult as it is reconciling fully God, fully Man, I have to trust in the Lord, that He would come to the earth to pay for my sins and that at the same time have divine rule over everything. It is really the only thing that makes sense. Jesus. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Do you agree with Determinist or Free Will Theology? Why?

This is one of the very questions that I spoke about in my last post, one of those tricky questions that someone could ask and there is no specific answer for. Even amongst believers each one can take a different side, or have a different view. For me, I’m not sure exactly where I stand on the matter. Maybe I can debate my way to an answer through this post. I know that I am not fully one way or the other but somewhere in-between.
This weekend we went through the book of Daniel, and according to this teaching and many of the prophetic books of the Bible, there is a large Determinist element. The whole story will come to a close determined by God, which He sent to Daniel to share with us. An elaborately detailed story which brings this age to an end.
I am also one of those people who likes to believe that God has designed certain people to be together. That no matter what step I take, God will make things work out according to his plan for my life. Which contrasts both the free will and determinist theories.
But to be completely determinist is just ridiculous. God would not of created us to be little robots that He controls each and every move, making us follow him. Forcing us to worship Him would go against His very nature. He created us to be with him where He is, for us to love Him with all of our heart, soul and mind. But He has given us the choice to do so.
I guess that leaves me the same place I was at the beginning of this post, somewhere mingled between the two sides. Let me say it this way, God has designed a masterful plan, a plan that requires our obedience. But in the case of our flesh getting in the way, making our own decisions, He is able to work all things out to work with His big picture plan. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Can you identify areas in your own understanding where you know you need a more mature understanding?

It is odd; how one can grow up in the church, faithfully attending church and Bible study every week, yet at the age of 25, and still not completely understand what I believe.

I said to one of the girls I was sitting with on the first day of class in Basic Christian Beliefs, “I’m excited for this class, I feel like I am not able to defend myself properly if a non-Christian, or a Christian for that matter, would ask me a tricky question about my faith or what I believe.” She replies, “What do you mean? It’s pretty simple, Jesus. You know Jesus and the gospel.” “Well, it’s not really that simple, “ I answer. “Yes I know Jesus, and about His life, but what if someone asks you a question like, why do bad things happen to good people, or why did my friend die at age 10 in an accident? Why would a loving God do such a thing? Or even a more theological question.”

These are tricky questions to answer, and I want to know the answers to them. Whether I get a specific answer or really just become more familiar with what I am supposed to know, then I can better answer some of these difficult questions. These are crucial topics that people will ask, and as a Christian, one commanded to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20), we must be able to answer. How else can we fulfill such a commission?

This is an area I know I need more understanding in. Even the other day, we were out playing pool, and a random man who claimed to be a Christian started testing us on our beliefs in speaking in tongues. We would answer and he would counteract with another scripture that states otherwise. Granted he was being pompous about it, but I still felt ill equipped to debate him. Not that I need to be able to debate people, but just in that moment, I did not know the answer, and I was saddened by this.

Teach me!