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ON THE HATING SIDE OF GOD

If you’re a wimpy blow-hard posing as a Christian, stop reading now and go back to your television show. There’s no point in continuing. You won’t understand it, you won’t like it, and you’ll probably have to call someone after you read this to comfort you and calm you down. So I’m saving you the trouble. Just stop reading and go back to your TV.
The rest of you who are still reading might want to grab a Bible and double check some of the stuff I’m about to tell you. We Christians in America have watered down God until He is barely a reflection of us. He certainly isn’t God. He’s an image, a figment of our daydreams of utopia, a picture on a wall, a statue on a dashboard, or a piece of jewelry around our neck, but He’s not God. No sir! He’s a slogan. He’s a sound-bite.
But really, a god is something to be in awe of. A god is something you fear. A god is something you obey. You tremble when a god walks into the room. “The devils also believe, and they tremble,” wrote James. But not us. Because our god is a sweetheart. He knows that we’ve had a hard day, and He just wants us to feel good in the evening, to go to bed with a smile. Our god sympathizes with us when someone is rude to us. We can just feel his warm embrace. Why, some Sunday nights our god knows that we’ve had such a rough week he just shows up at our church to slobber all over us and gush with delight over his little children with their little pouty lips.
I don’t know who to blame. I could start with us preachers in America. God, we’re a pathetic mess! Captains of the ship Wimpy. Cowards. Hirelings. We need the income, we need the little bit of importance we feel on Sunday when a handful of people come to hear us speak, and we’ll trade our consciences to keep the applause and the salary.
So we carefully skirt around tough issues. We do our best not to take a side.
We say stuff like, “I try not to judge.”
Or, “You know, there’s no point in turning people away from Christ by being mean.”
Or, “I’m just trying to love everybody.”
Or, “I’m not a theologian, I’m just a student of the Bible just like you.”
Or, “Jesus loves us all, black, white, Muslim, Christian, Jew, gay, straight… He just loves us all.”
Really? Does God simply not hate anybody? Even mass murderers? Child kidnappers?
This generation of American Christians doesn’t have the same understanding of God that the forefathers had. Try getting this bunch to read Proverbs 6:16 and watch how they explain it away. Those verses say: “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17   haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who a sows discord among brothers.”
Pardon me if my eyes aren’t as keen as yours, but it seems to me that the Bible just said “God hates.” And not only is He capable of hating, He doesn’t do that American thing of “hating the sin but loving the sinner.” He hates the sinner. Did you see it. It didn’t say that He merely “hates discord.” It said He hates the “one who sows discord.” The one. The person. Gasp! Did you just see that God is capable of hating a person who schemes and lies and sows discord?
Think that’s an isolated verse? Think again. Here’s what David had to say: Psalm 5:4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
Wow! This God of love is doing some serious hating. He hates “all evildoers.” He “abhors (hates) the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.”
“What would Jesus do?” some little sophomoric sound-bite Christian intones with a smug smile. I’ll tell you what He might do. He might start screaming, pick up a few moneychangers’ tables and flip them upside down, scattering their money and their caged sacrifices all over the floor, and then grab someone’s whip and start popping it in their ears until He drives everyone out of the temple!
In Luke 12:49 we see Jesus in action. I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
We Christians in the once-free America just couldn’t learn to hate, so we condoned the sin and the sinner. We opened our arms and our hearts to show everyone how loving we could be. We wanted the whole world to know that we don’t judge anyone, and we don’t judge their sins, er, practices.
We ran to their side when they stumbled, void of the grace of God, smeared with the stench of sinfully deliberate choices, and we told them that God still loved them, just the way they are. And then we forgot to tell them to repent. Why, that might have sounded judgmental. So we just loved on them, and although we didn’t get the bile of sin washed away, since we can’t do that, and only God can when we repent, we just sprayed so much Christian cologne on them we masked the smell of sin. For a while. But now, the stench is coming back, and we’re running out of cologne.
The scripture has a description of us in 2 Peter 2: “17 These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm.  For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. 18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them  freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”
What’s that? That doesn’t fit your image of God? Why are you still reading this? I told you to go back to your TV in the first paragraph.
The “gloom of utter darkness has been reserved” for empty souls who promise freedom, but are bound to sin themselves. I wonder who “reserved” the place for them? Some bigoted Christians from a previous millennium? Or a God, who will be a judge, who hates sin, and hates the sinful, and hates those who lie to them and promise them God’s favor without the need to repent and quit sinning.
Even the woman caught “in the act” understood that the grace of a loving Savior did not end with a sweet hug and a “go do whatever you want to do.” It ended with a kind Savior saying, “Go, and sin no more.” Don’t do it anymore. Repent. Change. Stop. Sin marks you for judgment. Sin puts you on the wrong side of God. On the hating side.
We are reaping what we have sowed in America. We have bred a generation of sinners who think they’re saved because God just can’t hate anyone, and He surely can’t send anyone to hell.
The last hour of the Gentile age is described in 2 Thess. 2:9 The coming of the lawless one [antichrist] is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Those who “refused to love the truth,” and “had pleasure in unrighteousness…” will be blinded by God, judged by God, banished to an eternity of hell by God. You have to wonder how much blood will be on our hands because we played church and religion games instead of preaching the timeless message, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!”
Sin is a stench. Sinners who continue to sin, who choose to ignore the truth, who love the pleasure of their unrighteousness, are on the wrong side on God. They’re on the hating side of God. Somebody ought to tell them.

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Obama, Clinton, and Netanya-who?

President Obama met with Israel’s prime minister Netanyahu, but you’d hardly know it. There was no invitation to the press. Absolutely no photo ops. You won’t see photos of the two men standing, smiling, shaking hands in tomorrow’s newspaper. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton probably had a more substantial meeting, but even that didn’t get much attention.

You won’t hear much about Netanyahu’s concession to endorse a two-state solution, or his restricting West Bank settlement growth for ten months. But you will hear that while Vice President Biden was visiting Israel recently a new housing project was announced in the media in Israel. Oh, but not to worry, Mr. Biden punished Mr. Netanyahu by arriving ninety minutes late for a scheduled dinner.

The obvious cold shoulder shown to Israel’s prime minister may have a deeper connotation. Remember, this is the same American president who met with King Abdullah of Jordan last year, and rolled out the red carpet. The press got many photo ops. King Abdullah was here to ask the president to push Israel to accept the two-statement solution, and to push the Arab Initiative of 2002 which demands that Israel go back to the borders of pre-1967.
Remember, too, that this is the president who wrote in his book Audacity, “I will stand with them [the Muslims] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” In that same paragraph he states that Judeo-Christian heritage will recede as an all-religions country emerges.

What did we expect would happen when he became President? Did we expect him to continue America’s long tradition of cooperation with Israel. Did we really think that he would continue to recognize the danger Israel faces by the leaders of the extreme Arab nations? Do most Americans honestly not know that Ahmadinejab prays for a world without Israel and the United States in it? Perhaps Americans should just Google “World Without Zionism” and read some quotes.

The problem we “Judeo-Christians” -we vanishing people of a previous heritage in America- face is that we have very clear reasons why we think we should stand with Israel, and they have nothing to do with politics. No, we vanishing people happen to believe in the Bible, and the Bible shows that God has chosen to use Israel as a “clock” for the timing of the end, and as a “litmus test,” if you please, to determine who is favored by God and who is not favored.

In Numbers 24 Balaam was hired by Balak to pronounce a curse against Israel, and he went out to do so. But he could not, for he saw “that it pleased to Lord to bless Israel.” And in his discovery comes the phrase directed at Israel as a people, “Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you” (24:9). Now, we Christians know that is not a commandment for us, but we cannot ignore the content.

Israel played a huge role in giving us our favorite Jew, Jesus Christ. And most of us believe that Israel still has a place in prophecy. Nations are going to come against her in the end, and God is going to cause her to prevail. We can’t talk about that in politics. It sounds foolish and naive.
It’s just the mutterings of a vanishing people, the ever-fading Judeo-Christian.

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IS AMERICA BEYOND HOPE?

I have noticed that a number of radio or television ministers are speaking about America’s need for a revival.  Sometimes it is a genuine call from ministers who are agonizing over the demise of godliness in America, and sometimes it is simply a “get on the bandwagon” response to what’s current.

At any rate, the troubling thing about the call to Revival is that it is so “corporate.”  It is not directed at us individually, but at America generally.  And that’s the rub, so to speak.

As long as we sit silently by, lending our “Amen!” to a stirring sermon, then hurrying to dinner, and hurrying home to grab the remote and watch our nightly nonsense, and then spending six days away from church, and from our devotional sense of God, then revival will not come to America.

Because revival must be an individual thing.  I… YOU… WE must have revival.  We must examine ourselves.  We must pray. We must repent. We must change.  We must intercede.  We.  Not America.  Not them. Not those “cold” churches.   We. 

I love preaching to others.  I hate preaching to me.  I love trying to change the guy going the wrong way.  I hate trying to change my own habits, and trying to break out of my complacency.  Sometimes the tide has to turn against us before we get serious about changing.  And that being said, perhaps the greatest indication that revival is possible in America is the obvious media turn against Christianity.

The media was not really mean to Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his anti-America “God-d*** America” sermon.  Not really.  But have you see the vitriolic response of some to Brit Hume’s comments to Tiger Woods about finding Christ?

Forget revival coming to America.  Pray for revival to come to you.  If enough of “you” and “I” can genuinely have a revival of faith and character and courage, then it will automatically come to our “land.”    (2 Chron. 7:14)