Archive for the ‘Biblical Truths’ Category

I am teaching a survey of the Old Testament and as I read the Scriptures and do research I am seeing a pattern how God gives provision and how we should respond to His provision.

God promised Israel He would give them the land known as Canaan. In Genesis 12, God called Abram to go west to a land He would give to Abram and his descendants.

God instructs Moses to lead Israel out of captivity in Egypt to Canaan. Then after forty years of wandering in the wilderness because the Israelites rejected God’s provision. They did not want to take possession of the promised land. They believed the 10 of the 12 spies, who lied and misled the Israelites. Because they rejected God’s provision, those people would not see the promised land, but their children would one day.

Once again, Joshua and a new generation Israelites find themselves at the edge of the Promised Land. Before instructing Joshua, God promised Joshua that every place he set his foot, God would give it to Israel (Joshua 1:1-5).  The caveat is they would have to act, take steps and take possession. They had to go out in faith and take possession of land (Joshua 3).

In our present time, God has instructed us that He has established the government (Romans 13). The purpose of government to protect the innocent and convict the guilty. Our response to government is to support it. We support it by exercising our right as a temporary citizen of this world, and country by voting. I say temporary because, for a Christian, our eternal citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20; John 14:2).

So, what if you choose not to vote? Then you are going against God’s plan for government. And like the nation of Israel, who repeatedly went against God’s instructions, His word, leadership, and rejected His word. Rejecting God’s word is a sin, and it always leads to suffering and consequences. The Israelites faced the consequences of their decisions for a generation to come.

So, obey God’s word, get involved in your community by engaging through evangelism, prayer, and exercising your rights as a citizen vote.

Luke 12:13-15

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

The man in this passage wanted what he thought was rightfully his. From a legal perspective, he may have had a portion of his father’s estate coming to him. The man was anxious at heart, waiting to receive his desired portion of his father’s possessions.

When the man made an appeal to Jesus for him to instruct his brother, who was probably the administrator of their father’s estate to give him his portion Jesus responded with a caution. “Watch out!” In other words, “examine yourself that your greed has not consumed you!” Greed is like cancer that will eat away at your inner being.

This individual probably had a world view that life without “things” or “without an abundance of possessions” is not a quality of life. “Watch Out!” That your worldview is not crowded with thoughts of wanting what someone else has. The Bible refers to this a covetousness.

Jesus responded with “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (V 15) Material things, possessions, will eventually deteriorate, wear out, break down. Or materials thing can be stolen or lost. Jesus taught where our focus and treasure should be in Matthew 6:19-21:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We can acquire many possessions and wealth. We can store up great wealth. But in the end, at death’s doorway, someone else will eventually get all your possessions. When you die it will not be how much you held in your hands. What will matter is “Who has you in His hands?” Your soul must be in God’s hands. Jesus taught,

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

If you have never given your heart and life to Jesus Christ by repenting of your sins. You can do it right now. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins. Confess He is Lord and Savior. Thank Jesus for dying for your sins and taking your eternal punishment in hell. Thank Him for making a way for you to get into heaven, by His resurrection.

If you want God to have your soul and life in His hands, pray a simple like this.

Dear God, I believe that Jesus is Your Son. That He died for my sin, was buried and rose again from the dead. God, I have sinned against You and I ask You to forgive me. Jesus, I ask you to be my Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. In Jesus Name.

If you prayed the prayer, and invited Jesus into your heart, Congratulations! I want you to grow in Christ Jesus.

Things to grow in Christ:

  1. You will want to begin reading your Bible every day.
  2. Begin with the Gospel of John. Read one chapter every day.
  3. Pray every day to God in Jesus Name.
  4. Read a daily devotion. To get a free daily devotion go to https://billygraham.org/devotions/
  5. Get the Living in Christ booklet – https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/product/living-in-christ-booklet/
  6. Watch how God has changed other people’s lives. Watch free videos at https://myhopewithbillygraham.org/programs/
  7. Find a Bible teaching preaching church. Go to http://www.sbc.net/churchsearch/

 

 

 

 

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has available a booklet by Dr. Bill Bright that every Christian needs to read.  The booklet is entitled “5 Duties of a Christian Citizen” by Bill Bright.

There are 5 main topics discussed in reference to a Christian and our duty as a representative of TheLord Jesus Christ and our God-given freedom in America.

  1. Pray
  2. Register to Vote
  3. Become Informed
  4. Help Elect Godly People
  5. Vote

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Bill Bright booklet, “5 Duties of A Christian Citizen”

  • “By our actions, God is able to do His will in Government.”
  • “Voting gives us an opportunity to be salt and light in government America’s moral fiber is cut away one layer at a time. “
  • “We are in danger of losing our nation, and our God-given freedom to those who disdain the God of nation’s founders.”
  • “If we lose Christian freedoms to express our faith, we will lose the freedom to fulfill the Great Commission throughout America.”

You can get your copy of Dr. Bill Bright booklet at www.BillyGrahambookstore.org

Or contact vbenavides@billygraham.org  in Metro Atlanta, GA/ Metro Macon, GA.

 

I recently heard a statistic how the suicide rate and attempts among high school age and college age students is on the rise. We not are hearing about it on the news but the news by word of mouth and social media travels. Our campuses are under a dark, dark cloud. Some if not most have a toxic environment. Most of my missionary and pastor associates would say that the devil has a strangle hold on our campuses and kids.
We must ask, “Why is the suicide rate on the increase among students?” Could it be that Old Testament principle is ever so true, “Confession is good for the soul,” Psalms 119:26. What are some of the benefits of confessing our sins to God? God made us with a spiritual, soul and body. He made us to have a loving relationship with Him, but our sin separates us from God and from having the proper relationship with Him. Jesus death on the cross, burial and resurrection is a blessing from God so that we can have our sins forgiven, Acts 3:26.
According to Romans 3:23, “We are all sinners.” Sin eats at your mind, your body, and your emotions. The effects of sin tears away and at the self-worth and self-esteem that God intends for you to have a child of God. He made you to be a child of the Most High God, Creator of all creation.
Instead, your children have been taught that their origin of life is by chance. They are taught they evolved out of the pool of slimy, soupy, pool of muck from a one cell organism that went through transformations of animal life and eventually became what we are today. What value does life have if your origin is based nothing more than a slimy one cell organism? This lie robs us of the Divine Truth that a loving heavenly God created us with a special plan and design in mind.
Who would conjure such a degrading lie? Well, only someone with such venomous hatred for all humankind. This individual is worse than Adolph Hitler and his regime of hate filled soldiers who brought horrific inhumane atrocities against people. The author of this dehumanizing theory must not only hate all human life but the Creator of life, God. He is known as the devil, Lucifer.
And he continues to steal, kill and destroy life John 10:10, and pervert life. Your children are told if they think it, it must be correct. If you consider a particular lifestyle then you must have been born to live it. If that is true, then we would all be rich, famous, a successful athlete, the best singer in the world, cure cancer, aids, stop world hunger an instant, bring world peace and stop ISIL in their tracks and they would stop beheading innocent Christian men, women and children.
Confession is good for the soul. Without confession of sin, you store up evil and bad thoughts, you store up hatred and bad actions that break God’s laws. You can only take so much pressure and the weight of your sin. God didn’t make you to carry all the weight and guilt of your sin. God provided a way for you to be released from the guilt and weight of your sin. He sent Jesus, His One and Only Son to die on the cross for your sin, so you can have His forgiveness.
Some intellectual individuals, like Voltaire, deny God and his existence. Voltaire eventually went crazy and was cared for by the very people he hated, Christians. Sin will make you feel guilty and tear you to pieces, emotionally, physically and hinder your mental capacity to make the right decisions.
Everyone needs to confess his and her sins to God, on a daily basis. When you pray asking God to forgive your sins, He pours on you His cleansing Spirit. But you must begin first by acknowledging Jesus Christ as God’s Son. Admit to God you have sinned against Him. Believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, because only He has died in your place for your sin. Confess your sin to God, and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Ask God to cleanse you from all your sin.
Next you need to find a Bible teaching and preaching church and tell the pastor of your decision to surrender your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and be baptized as a believer in Jesus.
We Christians need to begin praying our campuses. The Church needs to begin praying for and prayerwalking the college campuses. Students need to know that there is a holy, loving God who wants His best for them and to bring forgiveness, and comfort.
The apostle Paul, the New Testament writer, who penned the majority of the 39 New Testament books, wrote, ““If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Our campuses and our nation God to send His Spirit to awaken lost people and save them. Pray for our churches to become alive again and passionate for God, taking the Gospel to the people once again.

In the Gospel of John 15, Jesus tells His disciples that unless they remain in Him they can do not.

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Did Jesus really mean that we can nothing at all? No, it means that we can nothing of kingdom significance unless we stay in His Word. We must stay in prayer. We must stay in His presence. Unless we remain in “Him” we cannot do nothing without His Spirit’s power.

We must remain connected to Him, like a branch is connected, drawing nourishment and energy from the life of the Vine. Jesus is our Vine. He is our power and energy to do Kingdom work. Like I have said many times, “We witness out of the overflow of our walk with God.” Well, we preach, we witness, we serve, we live out of the overflow of our walk with God.

Unless we remain in Jesus, we can do nothing.

 

Proverbs 10:5

“He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.” NIV

“At harvest season it’s smart to work hard, but stupid to sleep.” CEV 

In this verse God teaches us a principle of the harvest. The lesson is about a wise or sensible son versus a disgraceful son. The Proverbs says that during the harvest a wise or prudent son will bring in the harvest. The harvest time is a time to labor in the field. Harvesting, for those who have never experienced this type of work is hard labor. This son brings the family respect and honors his father.

This son who labors in the field is obedient to the father’s call to go out and work in the field, unlike the son in the parable which Jesus told that lied to the father and said, “I will go, but never does go out.”

Growing up in a family that grew crops in Texas, we sometimes went and harvested various crops that my father’s brothers had planted on their ranch. In the summer time Texas can be very hot. But the harvest was fun because I was co-laboring with my family.

Proverbs 10:5 says that the disgraceful son does not work the harvest fields, for he sleeps instead of brining in the harvest. Not only is the disgraceful son sleeping, but according to several commentators he goes to sleep quickly and is in a very deep sleep.

This disgraceful son throws away an opportunity that is there for a season. It is a window of opportunity. In my book “Breaking the Evangelism Code”, I describe a business or investment principle, “Opportunity Cost.” This is the missed the opportunity of increasing your financial gain by acting on an opportunity for monetary gain.

I use this principle to show how the church and believers will intentionally and unintentionally miss an opportunity to share the Glorious Gospel with a lost person. I refer to this as “Opportunity Lost.” We miss out on seeing the effects of God’s Word, and God’s Spirit bring an unbelieving soul to new life as we share God’s Living Word, the Gospel.

Jesus has already commanded us to go into the harvest field and work. He said, “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” John 4:35. Proverbs, 11:30b says, “He who wins souls is wise!” What does that say about professing Christians who do not win lost souls with the Gospel?

We all need to pray that we would not be a Disgraceful Son, but a Wise, Honoring Son to our heavenly Father and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God, please forgive us for not working the harvest fields and please ignite our souls to evangelize the lost, In Jesus Name!

 

The world is in desperate need of a spiritual awakening. The Church is in desperate need to wake up and become the evangelistic organism that God intended the church to be, evangelizing the lost world. God has empowered the church to be able to carry the gospel out into the communities of America. The church has all it needs to see God turn this world upside down, if only God’s people would repent, be obedient and begin witnessing.

The church has fallen for the devil’s lie that evangelism does not work. What better lie to promote! He could not stop the church from doing evangelism by persecution. So he did the second most effective thing, tell the church that evangelism does not work anymore. The church today lives as though the gospel is powerless and acts as though the gospel is in some type of code.

The church appears to be in a state of confusion and stumbling around as though intoxicated by some cheap wine or fermented drink that the devil has concocted when it comes to evangelism. The church seems as though it is in a thick fog and acts as though the gospel is in some type of cryptic code, needing to be solved before it can tell the world about Jesus.

While the church struggles trying to discover a new approach or grasp which evangelism strategy or method works best, the world is going to hell on jet fuel. The declining church continues to listen to some of our leaders and individuals, whom we have deemed as the experts, who fan the flames of disillusionment and gospel-phobia, while the devil is running havoc on our families, our marriages, our churches, and communities. He continues to lead many lost people to an eternal fiery hell while we sit around trying to figure out how to grow the church without going outside of our walls or leaving our soft pews to do intentional evangelism.

The Devil has crept into some churches and has taken control. It is evident by the back biting, negative comments, sexual immorality, stealing, promoting personal agendas instead of God’s biblical plan and the lack of intentional evangelistic effort and a lack of concern for reaching the lost. Stopping churches from being evangelistic can only be the devil’s deceptive scheme. No Evangelism is the Devil’s Mantra! Have we fallen for his devilish schemes?

Evangelism is the good news that the world needs to hear. Th e message of the gospel is that God set up a road block to hell; it is called the cross. It is all about the cross. Jesus died on a cross so we would not have to pay for our sins in hell. Salvation is available to all who believe. It is free to all who want to receive it from God. It is not cheap for it cost God His only Son, Jesus and it cost Mary her first born son. It is not cheap because it cost Jesus His life and the agony of taking on all of our sins that separated Him from the Father.

To read more of Dr. Victor Benavides, writings on evangelism, please purchase one of his books:

“Breaking the Evangelism Code”, “The Prepared Witness”, “Intentional Community Evangelism”

Go to amazon.com